Washington State Enacts 100% Clean Electricity Law

May 10, 2019

Betsy Lillian | Solar Industry Magazine | May 9, 2019

washington governor
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee

This week, Washington State enacted legislation to transition to 100% clean electricity.

S.B.5116 was signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee after passing the state legislature earlier this month. The law mandates phasing out coal from Washington’s grid by 2025, achieving a carbon-neutral electricity supply by 2030 and transitioning to a 100% clean electricity supply by 2045.

The Sierra Club points out that Washington is the fifth state to establish a 100% clean energy target, after California, Hawaii, Nevada and New Mexico. Several other states have also introduced 100% clean energy legislation in 2019, including Minnesota, Illinois, New York and Maine.

“Washington is showing the rest of the country what it looks like to lead on climate,” comments Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club. “States are getting it: There’s no time to waste when it comes to tackling the climate crisis. We need ambitious road maps and bold follow-through to break away from fossil fuels. By calling for 100 percent clean electricity, retiring coal on an accelerated timeline, and ensuring this transition will support local communities, Washington is showing the rest of the U.S. how to walk the walk. Congratulations to Washingtonians; other states, take note.”

Inslee also signed several other clean energy bills:

  • H.B.1112 – Reducing greenhouse-gas emissions from hydrofluorocarbons;
  • H.B.1257 – Concerning energy efficiency in Washington’s buildings;
  • H.B.1444 – Concerning appliance efficiency standards; and
  • H.B.2042 – Advancing green transportation adoption.

Inslee, who co-founded the U.S. Climate Alliance after President Donald Trump declared his intent to remove the U.S. from the Paris climate accord in 2017, has vocalized the need for climate action at all levels of government around the world.

“This means we can have a fighting chance at saving the things we cherish most  –  our land, our air, our water and our children’s health,” Inslee says. “We aren’t done. Our success this year is just a harbinger of successes to come. But we’re ready. We can do this.”

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