Energy Policy & Issues
District of Columbia
The District of Columbia’s City Council established a 100% Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), including cost-saving requirements for long-term renewable energy purchase agreements, through the CleanEnergy DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018.
Solar development has picked up over the last few years with strong demand from corporate customers. As of 2022, projects with a combined capacity of over 3,700 MW are currently under consideration or have been approved by the Kentucky Siting Board.
Maryland’s Clean Energy Jobs Act of 2019 (CEJA) set a renewable energy target of 50% by 2030 and created a path to help Maryland reach 100 percent renewable energy by 2040. CEJA also requires Maryland to procure at least 1,200 megawatts of offshore wind capacity. The Climate Solutions Now Act, passed in 2022, set a statewide goal of a 60% reduction below 2006 emissions by 2031 and a requirement to reach net-zero by 2045.
The Clean Energy Act of 2018 established a Renewable Portfolio Standard calling for 50% renewable energy by 2030, including 3,500 MW of offshore wind. In 2019, Governor Murphy further extended this goal to 7,500 MW of offshore wind with Executive Order 92.
Session Law 2007-397 (Senate Bill 3), signed into law during 2007, established the Renewable and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard requiring investor-owned utilities in North Carolina to meet up to 12.5% of their energy needs through renewable energy resources or energy efficiency measures by 2021. In 2012, Governor Cooper’s Executive Order 80 called for the development of a Clean Energy Plan.
Ohio first implemented its Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) in 2008, and the policy has undergone significant changes in recent years. In 2019, House Bill 6 reduced the 2026 benchmark for the RPS from 12.5% to 8.5%, while eliminating the RPS’s “solar carve-out” in 2020. It also cut off the RPS as of the end of 2026 by eliminating any maintenance of the standard for “every year thereafter.” Ohio is one of only two states (along with West Virginia) to repeal or roll back its RPS policy.
Pennsylvania recently achieved the goals of its Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act (AEPS). Initially passed in 2004, the AEPS requires that electric distribution companies and electric generation suppliers meet a 8% benchmark for Tier I energy resources, which includes a 0.5% solar requirement, and a 10% benchmark for Tier II resources by 2021 for all the electricity that they sell to Pennsylvania customers. Continued policy support, in the form of an AEPS or other measures, is necessary to keep the Keystone State’s renewable energy industry growing.
The 2020 Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA) established a number of ambitious goals including requiring the state’s two largest utilities, Dominion Energy Virginia and Appalachian Power, to be 100 percent carbon-free by 2045 and 2050 respectively. The VCEA also establishes that 5,200 megawatts of offshore wind and 16,100 megawatts of solar and onshore wind is “in the public interest.” Additionally, Virginia’s largest energy companies must also construct or acquire more than 3,100 megawatts of energy storage capacity.
With a robust existing wind industry and the state’s first utility-scale solar projects under development, West Virginia is well positioned to diversify and strengthen its energy sector in the 21st Century.