Extreme weather, energy savings and renewables driving state-level strategies in the US


The motivations for state-level strategies to drive grid modernisation are numerous including, emissions targets, adoption of renewables, energy savings initiatives, and the increase in major weather events across the USA.

There is also a drive for energy savings and security at a national level, with the US Department of Energy recently announcing $42 million in funding for early-stage research and development of technologies to support these objectives.

It seems 2019 is off to a busy start at state level, and a number of states have announced energy savings strategies.

Democrat Lujan Grisham claimed the New Mexico governer’s house last year after beating her Republican rival. Her campaign promised that the state would reach 50% renewable energy by 2030 and 80% by 2040.

Just last month Grisham signed an executive order to reduce carbon emissions by a minimum of 45% below 2005 levels and reach 80% by 2030.

The initiative will be led by an inter-agency task team that will identify opportunities for efficient infrastructure modernisation and renovation, and set power plant and emissions standards.

Last month J.B. Pritzker, the Democratic governor of Illinois, revealed a similar plan, committing to reducing the state’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26% by 2025 compared to 2005 levels.

Illinois is already an established leader in renewables – the state’s solar industry has been thriving since the Future Energy Jobs Act was introduced, which doubtless contributed to a 16% reduction of the state’s carbon footprint by 2016.

Also in January, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities approved a previously proposed 2019/2021 energy efficiency plan. The strategy emphasises demand reduction and the introduction of incentives for passive homes. These changes are part of a much larger initiative to scale up renewable generation.

The challenge remains to meet the requirements of new legislation in the most creative and innovative ways possible, and the US market is full of opportunity.

The latest technologies to drive the US and global smart grid sector are being revealed at DistribuTECH 2019. Click here for the latest news from the event.