California unveils plan to reach carbon neutrality by 2045 The new climate plan by Washington State is called ‘Beyond Carbon Neutral’, and it involves a sharp increase in electricity-generation from renewable sources.
Electricity-generating companies are increasingly looking at renewable resources as new ways to stay in business, even as climate scientists warn that the planet faces a critical point beyond which the world’s major ecosystems can no longer support life.
Washington, where electric rates are among the cheapest in the nation, aims to reduce electricity consumption by 35 percent from 2010 levels through 2040 and use renewables to replace nearly all of the state’s power by 2045. About 2.5 gigawatts of new generation capacity would be added by 2030, according to the plan obtained by The Associated Press.
Washington Department of Ecology spokesman David Doniger said the plan “will help Washington meet our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, by making electricity generation more carbon efficient, reducing emissions from the electricity sector in Washington State. And it will do it by harnessing all the available renewable resources that have the lowest impact on the environment.”
The proposal also aims to reach carbon neutrality by 2045.
The state’s electricity-generation efforts have been criticized by some environmental groups.
“The proposed action plan is a carbon copy of the Green New Deal, which is a false environmental solution intended to address climate change in the United States,” said Annie Leonard, director of the Washington Conservation Network. “The Governor and his staff should be encouraging actions that put this country on the path to energy and economic security. Instead they are promoting climate denial.”
The plan is to be released Wednesday in a report by the state Department of Ecology. Environmental groups plan to oppose it. The plan must be approved by the state’s Public Utilities Commission before being implemented.
An expert on renewable energy says most of Washington’s solar panel installations now come from companies like solar panel manufacturer Suniva, which makes everything from roofs to flat panels for solar panel-houses.
“It can take multiple years to build a new solar power plant,” said William Hintz, associate director of the University of Montana Center for Energy and Environmental Policy. “This is not only good for the environment but also helps with the job growth that’s coming in solar industries.
“It’s a win-win.”
Even before Washington’s Energy Independence and Security Act passed