On Monday Governor Jay Inslee announced a clean energy proposal to create a carbon-neutral electricity supply by 2030, and 100% clean electricity by 2045 with a goal of eliminating coal from our electricity supply. This is part of a range of reforms aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions 25% below 1990 levels by 2035, and is expected to be introduced as a package of bills when the legislature reconvenes in January.
To achieve those goals our Governor is proposing:
- 10-year extension of the sales and use tax waiver for solar
- reform of the energy siting process, including modifying the composition of the state’s board and streamlining review of certain projects
- expanding funding for the state’s solar energy production initiative
Governor Inslee is planning the following investments through his budget proposal:
- $22 million in grid modernization
- $18 million in strategic R&D for new and emerging clean energy technologies
- $12 million to non-profit energy efficiency and renewable energy lenders
- $6 million to the sate’s solar incentive program in the first biennium
Similar to California’s clean energy standard, utilities must entirely eliminate fossil fuels in their electricity supply by 2045.
Washington has installed 133 MW through the second quarter of this year, putting it 31st for installed capacity to date, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. The large majority of this is residential systems, however commercial and utility-scale projects are on the increase. This plan will help move our state out of the solar basement, where we have been in spite of the fact that we get a lot of sun on the east side of the Cascade mountains.
It is important that we tell our state representatives and senators that we support the Governor’s proposal, so in January we will be providing a simple way for you to do that.