"When we meet this goal, Rhode Island will be the first state in America to be powered by 100% renewable electricity," said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. "We're already leading the fight against climate change, but we have to take increasingly aggressive action if we want to avoid catastrophe. As governor of a coastal state and mom to two teenagers, I'm fully committed to protecting the beauty of our state and our way of life for future generations."
Over the coming months, the Office of Energy Resources will conduct energy and economic analysis as it works to develop policy and programmatic solutions to achieve the Governor's goal and advance the state's economic, energy, and environmental interests. Stakeholder participation will be a key component of this work to help inform realistic pathways that work for Rhode Islanders, while driving the state toward a lower-carbon electric supply.
"Thanks to the leadership of Governor Raimondo and the General Assembly, Rhode Island has benefited from a suite of clean energy policies and programs that are attracting investment and growing jobs, while reducing our carbon footprint," said Acting State Energy Commissioner Nicholas Ucci. "Because of this work, we are already on track to meet more than one-third of our electricity demand with renewables within a few years. I am confident that, working together, our state can build upon these successes and further accelerate renewable energy adoption while balancing energy affordability, reliability, and the very real need to mitigate harmful greenhouse gas emissions."
The Governor's 100 percent by 2030 renewable electricity goal is one part of a broader state strategy to address the climate change crisis by reducing economy-wide carbon emissions. Three years ago, the Governor set an ambitious goal to accelerate Rhode Island's clean energy supply ten-fold by the end of 2020. Thanks to continued growth in local renewables, competitive procurements of well-priced, carbon-free resources at scale, and nation-leading energy efficiency programs, the state is on track to reach that goal by the end of this year.
Last July, Governor Raimondo issued an executive order launching a Heating Sector Transformation to advance clean, affordable, and reliable heating solutions for homes and businesses throughout the state.
To read more about how Rhode Island state agencies are working together to reduce greenhouse gases, prepare for the effects of climate and protect public health, go to climatechange.ri.gov.
The Office of Energy Resource's final report is due by December 31, 2020. The full text of the executive order may be viewed below.