Virginia takes aim at 100% renewable energy

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Virginia is for renewable energy lovers.

On Sept. 17, Gov. Ralph Northam issued an executive order setting a goal of meeting all of Virginia's electricity needs with 100 percent renewable energy by 2050, with an interim target of 30 percent by 2030. The order directs state agencies to achieve that goal using solar and onshore wind energy, energy efficiency, offshore wind, energy storage, and energy equity.

Environment Virginia applauded the 2050 target, but called for a more ambitious 2030 benchmark:

“With this executive order, Virginia is taking an important step in its effort to grapple with the existential threat of our time: climate change," said State Director Elly Boehmer. "However, it’s unclear why we can’t get further than 30 percent by 2030. We expect that Virginia will achieve and surpass this interim goal early, because that’s what the people of Virginia need—and deserve. Environment Virginia is on call to help in any way possible."

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Photo: A solar photovoltaic array at Cooper Vineyards in Louisa, Va. Solar energy will be a key tool in Virginia's planned transition to 100% renewable energy. Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)