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A service for biofuel industry professionals · Friday, January 22, 2021 · 534,897,500 Articles · 3+ Million Readers

Commerce releases 2021 state energy strategy for a carbon-free clean energy future

The strategy also calls for Washington to establish a clean fuel standard and adopt a policy of universal access to broadband Internet service. A clean fuel standard is a market-based mechanism to shift transportation from gasoline and diesel to electricity and biofuels. Universal broadband access reduces transportation demand and emissions and enables new technologies to manage energy use.

The 2021 State Energy Strategy also emphasizes the importance of an equitable transition, which requires public investment to support clean energy projects serving low-income communities and reduce industrial and transportation-related pollution.

The last state energy strategy was issued in 2012. Commerce developed the 2021 State Energy Strategy with input from a 27-member advisory committee made up of legislators, government officials, and representatives of civic organizations, energy and utility businesses, and public interest advocates. Submitted to Gov. Jay Inslee and the Washington Legislature, the strategy does not have any legal effect without further action.

Experts used state-of-the-art modeling tools, and sophisticated, data-driven analysis to develop the following key findings:

Transportation makes up 45% of the state’s 2018 emissions. Washington must embrace electrification of as many passenger, truck and freight vehicles as possible; focus on immediate infrastructure investment; and develop incentives and land use plans to reduce miles traveled and increase other modes of transport, such as transit, cycling and walking.

Buildings, with 23% of the state’s emissions, require a 10-year market transition from fossil gas to electrification in heating, cooling and cooking, combined with deep levels of efficiency measures for new and existing buildings.

Electricity, at 16% of the state’s emissions, must be 100% clean by 2030 and must roughly double in output by 2050. Ensuring reliability requires the state to expand transmission capacity and renewable generation; develop smart, distributed resources and grids; and strengthen market mechanisms to ensure resource adequacy and efficiency.

Industry must be a focus of policy makers to reduce emissions where possible; develop green hydrogen, clean fuels and carbon capture; work with existing businesses to mitigate and leverage the impacts of the clean energy transition; and foster a clean energy workforce.

“The strategy takes a bold step forward in its commitment to involve communities and workers to further develop the implementation actions necessary to fulfill the equity principles and workforce goals set out by the Legislature,” said Nancy Hirsh, co-chair of the Washington State Energy Strategy Advisory Committee and Executive Director of NW Energy Coalition. “Much work remains to address historical inequities and bring real benefits and opportunities to those harmed by the energy system and those struggling under a heavy energy cost burden. I am optimistic the strategy will help chart the course to a cleaner, more equitable and reliable energy future for all Washingtonians.”

“As it is implemented, the State Energy Strategy will touch on every corner of the state and many aspects of people’s lives. Creating a thriving decarbonized economy that benefits the entire state and does not leave any communities behind is an awesome challenge. Washington has the opportunity to demonstrate that it can be done with a careful, thoughtful and interconnected strategy that harnesses our state’s substantial human and natural resources to put it at the forefront of innovation,” said Reeves Clippard, co-chair of the Washington State Energy Strategy Advisory Committee. Reeves also chairs the Executive Committee of the CleanTech Alliance and is Chief Executive Officer of A&R Solar.

Details are available on Commerce’s Energy Strategy webpage. 2021 State Energy Strategy — Washington State Department of Commerce

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