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
  • 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
JAN 15, 2020
Earth & The Environment
JAN 15, 2020
We need flexible Marine Protected Areas
The laws that apply to much of the world’s international waters are out of date – that’s why world leaders are hard at work to improve th...
JAN 28, 2020
Plants & Animals
JAN 28, 2020
A Slug Does All it Can to Defend Against Hungry Ants
Slugs are slow, and this makes them easy targets for predators however big or small they might be. Here, we see that a slug has been spotted by a hungry co...
FEB 06, 2020
Earth & The Environment
FEB 06, 2020
Did climate push early humans out of Africa?
A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences details the most recent revelations about our planet’s complex h...
FEB 13, 2020
Earth & The Environment
FEB 13, 2020
Dams in the Mekong lower river temperatures
A study discussing the environmental impacts of hydropower dams on rivers in the Mekong River basin was published recently in Environmental Research Letter...
MAR 16, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAR 16, 2020
These Crabs Decorate Themselves to Avoid Being Eaten
The animal world is chock-full of critters that do seemingly odd or unusual things. The decorator crab is one such example, a crustacean that likes to deck...
MAR 18, 2020
Earth & The Environment
MAR 18, 2020
LEGO bricks can persist in the ocean for 1,300 years
Some might think that stepping on a LEGO brick is the worst thing about those toys. However, a new study from the University of Plymouth discovered that a...
Loading Comments...