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Utility Dive: Virginia, Maryland unveil 100% Clean Energy Plans, but NGOs Not Satisfied

Posted by Iulia Gheorghiu on Dec 20, 2019

Utility Dive covered Gov. Ralph Northam's 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050 bill followed by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announcement for a 100% clean energy by 2040 state plan and included quotes by AEE's JR Tolbert. Read excerpts below and the entire UD piece here. 

States where legislatures are aligned with the governor on climate issues are advancing clean energy policies, garnering industry support from the clean energy sector.

"We are continuing to work with the industry to make sure that the structure of the renewable energy portfolio pieces of the program are the most effective means by which we can finance projects," J.R. Tolbert, managing director of Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), told Utility Dive. 

AEE has focused on Virginia's efforts to introduce the sweeping energy bill this fall, and the legislation was developed to garner support from the renewable energy sector, Tolbert said, from rooftop solar to offshore wind, to onshore utility-scale renewables.

However, some clean energy advocates are criticizing the measures for not being more ambitious. In Virginia, Food & Water Watch, a spinoff of the left-leaning advocacy group Public Citizen, said a strong climate bill would have included a moratorium on new fossil fuel projects, to block new gas plants and pipeline infrastructure such as the Mountain Valley Pipeline Southgate extension and the Transco Southeastern Trail Extension. Food & Water Watch - Virginia also opposed the failure to exclude nuclear energy from the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard and has disputed the emissions benefits from RGGI participation.

In Maryland, the Center for Climate Strategies published an analysis on Thursday of Hogan's clean electricity plan, saying it might "underestimate electricity emissions" by relying on 2017 data and needs carbon pricing policy options across sectors, among other "weaknesses." The decarbonization strategy from Hogan's proposal "is contained in Maryland's 2019 draft Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act plan," Maryland Department of the Environment spokesperson Jay Apperson said in an email.

Read the entire UD piece here. 

Topics: AEE In The News