Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) are regulations at the state level that require a specific percentage of electricity to be generated from renewable sources. As concerns about climate change have grown, many states have updated their RPS standards to increase the proportion of renewable energy in the mix.
This has led to a scramble among states to find new sources of renewable energy to meet these updated standards. Some states have already made significant progress towards their goals. For example, California has committed to generating 100% of its electricity from carbon-free sources like wind and solar by 2045.
Other states are now playing catch-up. New York recently passed a law requiring 70% of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030, up from the previous target of 50%. To meet this goal, the state will need to add an additional 6 gigawatts of solar, wind, and other renewable electricity sources per year until 2025.
Similarly, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed a bill in April 2020 mandating that the state generate 100% of its electricity from carbon-free sources by 2045. This represents a significant increase from the previous goal of 15% by 2025. Meeting this new target will require the construction of new solar and wind farms, as well as increased investment in energy storage technologies.
Even states that already have high levels of renewable energy generation are facing challenges in meeting their updated RPS standards. For example, Hawaii has a goal of generating 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2045, but progress has slowed in recent years as the state struggles to find suitable locations for new wind and solar installations.
One potential solution to the challenge of meeting updated RPS standards is the development of new technologies like offshore wind and geothermal energy. Offshore wind, in particular, has the potential to generate a significant amount of electricity while taking up less land than solar or onshore wind farms. However, offshore wind is still relatively new in the United States, and significant investments will be required to build the necessary infrastructure.
Overall, meeting updated RPS standards will require significant investment in renewable energy technologies over the next decade. However, the benefits of a shift towards renewable energy are clear – reducing greenhouse gas emissions, creating jobs in the clean energy sector, and improving public health outcomes by reducing air pollution from fossil fuel power plants. With increased political will and investment, states can transition towards a cleaner, more sustainable energy future.