Virginia commits to 100% renewables by 2050

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has signed an executive order committing the state to a transition to 100% renewables within the next 30 years, with a shorter-term goal of achieving a 30% transition by 2030.

The state aims to ensure that at least 3,000MW of solar and onshore wind facilities are under development before the end of 2022, with 2,500MW of offshore wind ready for operation by 2026.

The executive order notes that approximately 30% of carbon emissions generated in Virginia, and recent extreme weather events, including the threat of Hurricane Dorian “have reminded us climate disruption poses potentially devastating risk”.

It further notes that swift decarbonisation and a transition to clean energy are required to meet the challenges posed by climate change.

Governor Northam said: “Since I took office, our administration has been focused on establishing a strong and bold vision for Virginia as we work to modernise our electric grid and reduce barriers to the development of clean energy resources. We know the importance of a true shift to reliance on renewable energy sources in reducing our carbon footprint, growing our economy and creating the clean energy jobs of the future.

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“This Executive Order will help ensure that Virginia remains at the forefront of clean energy innovation, meets the urgency of the challenges brought on by climate change and captures the economic, environmental and health benefits of this energy growth in an equitable way that benefits all Virginians.”