APR 15, 2019 9:19 AM PDT

Washington state commits to 100% clean energy by 2045

Washington state will soon become the fourth state in the nation to commit to 100% renewable energy, joining Hawaii, California, and New Mexico. Pending the final vote in the Senate (it was already passed by the state’s House of Representatives), the legislation will commit Washington to generate the state’s electricity supply carbon neutral by 2030 and 100% carbon-free by 2045. According to the Sierra Club, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and at least 90 cities have also made commitments to clean energy.

“We have a suite of policies that we will embrace: a 100 percent clean grid, net-zero building codes standards, elimination of super pollutants, electrification of our transportation systems through incentives and through our infrastructure, huge increases in R&D throughout multiple technologies,” said Governor Jay Inslee, who introduced the bill. “All of those things together need to add up to be the new clean economy for midcentury.”

So how is the state intending on carrying out this plan? Washington already generates approximately three-quarters of its electricity from hydropower and will likely shift toward depending principally on the hydro industry to generate its electric needs in the future. While coal-generated electricity will definitely be gone from the table, nuclear will remain an option, though it is generally more expensive than hydropower options.

The first step, as detailed in the measure passed by the House last week, "would require utilities to eliminate coal as an energy source by the end of 2025 as the first step toward a goal to provide carbon-free electricity by 2045," according to the Associated Press.

Washington state already gets three fourths of its energy from hydropower sources. Photo: Pixabay

The state is already well on its way toward doing so, as Ars Technica explains: “Last year, the state's last remaining coal plant in Centralia, Washington, scheduled the retirement of its two coal-fired turbines: the first by 2020 and the second by 2025. Washington utilities also receive coal-fired electricity from the Colstrip plant in Montana, but they are scheduled to stop paying for Colstrip electricity by 2022.”

Transportation is the sector that accounts for the highest emissions, making up 43% of the state’s total. Governor Inslee has commented that upcoming legislation will particularly target transportation in order to reduce emissions on the grand scale and help the state reach its target.

Sources: Ars Technica, Earther Gizmodo

About the Author
BA Environmental Studies
Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
OCT 09, 2022
Earth & The Environment
Scientists Upcycle Plastics to Fight Climate Change
OCT 09, 2022
Scientists Upcycle Plastics to Fight Climate Change
In a recent study published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, a team of researchers led by the University ...
OCT 22, 2022
Earth & The Environment
Rainfall in Majority of United States Intensifying
OCT 22, 2022
Rainfall in Majority of United States Intensifying
In a recent study published in Geophysical Research Letters, a team of researchers from Northwestern University examined ...
OCT 20, 2022
Cannabis Sciences
Respiratory Hazards in The Cannabis Industry
OCT 20, 2022
Respiratory Hazards in The Cannabis Industry
Workers in cannabis production facilities face health hazards. Here's what they are.
OCT 26, 2022
Plants & Animals
Lowering the Carbon Footprint of Pumpkin Farming
OCT 26, 2022
Lowering the Carbon Footprint of Pumpkin Farming
The most ubiquitous symbol of Halloween? A bright orange pumpkin. Whether you’re carving them, decorating them, or ...
OCT 25, 2022
Earth & The Environment
US Economy Might Not Be Able to Recoup Future Hurricane Economic Impacts
OCT 25, 2022
US Economy Might Not Be Able to Recoup Future Hurricane Economic Impacts
In a recent study published in Environmental Research Letters, an international team of researchers led by the Potsdam I ...
NOV 26, 2022
Health & Medicine
Data Suggests Sperm Count Decline is Accelerating Worldwide
NOV 26, 2022
Data Suggests Sperm Count Decline is Accelerating Worldwide
Over the years, a number of studies have found evidence that reproductive health in men has been declining. Research has ...
Loading Comments...