The Providence Journal - Sean Burke & Doug Sabetti // #RenewableEnergyStandard
With the passage of the 2021 Act on Climate earlier this session, Rhode Island has taken control of its energy future and charted a course towards a decarbonized economy.
This landmark legislation, which set mandatory goals for the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and laid the groundwork for transitioning to a majority of renewable energy resources, gives the Ocean State a once-in-a-generation opportunity to capitalize on both the climate and economic promises of clean energy. As the General Assembly enters the final days of the 2021 legislative session, it has a chance to redouble Rhode Island’s commitment to clean energy and the economic opportunities it brings by passing S629, a bill that would increase the state’s Renewable Energy Standard to 100% by 2030.
Rhode Island’s clean energy industry already supports nearly 14,000 jobs and has the potential to add many more, all while lowering carbon emissions and making strides in our efforts to address climate change. By passing S629, Rhode Island would commit to sourcing 100% of its electricity from renewable sources within a decade, signaling to the clean energy industry that the state is serious about investing in solar, wind, and other renewable energy projects.
Companies like Newport Solar, based in North Kingstown, demonstrate how clean energy can benefit the local economy. Newport Solar employs 15 Rhode Islanders and has installed more than 750 solar projects throughout the state, saving customers money and lowering our dependence on the fossil fuels that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. With the 100% Renewable Energy Standard in place, Newport Solar would have even more incentive to site projects in Rhode Island, hire local workers, and help accelerate the state’s transition to a clean energy future.
The 100% Renewable Energy Standard is an achievable and cost-effective way to reach our climate commitments. We have the technologies in place today to achieve this goal, and innovation will only make them more affordable and viable in the coming years. Setting this mandate will jump-start serious conversations among policymakers and stakeholders about what it will take to decarbonize our economy and allow us to transition to clean energy. It also shows companies like Newport Solar, and the many other Northeast Clean Energy Council members that do business in the Ocean State, that state policy will continue to support their clean energy projects.
It’s time for Rhode Island to step on the (metaphorical) gas and invest in a cleaner, greener economy. We urge the legislature to pass S629 and set the Ocean State on a path to decarbonizing our electric system.
Sean Burke is policy associate at the Northeast Clean Energy Council (NECEC). Doug Sabetti is the owner of Newport Solar.
Sort by Source or #Topic
Sort by date