The Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) announced on March 25, 2022 that more than half of Americans now live in a state with a 100% clean energy commitment, a milestone that reflects rapid development in renewable energy across the nation. As the CESA Table of 100% Clean Energy States shows, a group of 21 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico now have 100% renewable energy or net-zero greenhouse gas emissions goals, and their population represents 51% of all Americans.
“States are leading the way towards affordable, clean, and secure energy for the nation,” said CESA Executive Director Warren Leon. “It’s time for Congress to act to ensure that those states are successful and that the whole country can move faster towards clean power.”
With passage of Maryland’s Climate Solutions Now Act in April, more than 170 million Americans live in a state or other U.S. jurisdiction committed to transitioning the economy to energy sources that do not emit greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. These commitments are helping to drive the rapidly increasing market penetration of solar, wind, battery storage, and other technologies.
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak, leader of a state with a 100% commitment, said, “Nevada has long led the way in fighting climate change by investing in clean energy – it’s how we became the solar capital of the country. Now, nearly half the states and over half the population of the United States share Nevada’s ambitious target of 100% clean energy. I’m confident our representatives in Washington, D.C. can fully fund a secure and prosperous American energy economy of the future.”
The states vary in their 100% goals. Some are focused exclusively on renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Some of the states have goals that focus exclusively on the electricity sector, while others are seeking economy-wide carbon neutrality.
But all of the states have embraced goals that require and are leading to meaningful action. The states are making concrete, detailed plans and strategies for how to achieve their goals. Eleven states have already published their plans, most of which are summarized in CESA’s Guide to 100% Clean Energy States.
As a new Union of Concerned Scientists report shows, the additional health and economic benefits of moving rapidly towards 100% clean power are significant, including thousands of fewer deaths from air pollution, more than 100,000 fewer cases of exacerbated asthma, and hundreds of thousands of new jobs.
Through the 100% Clean Energy Collaborative, CESA, in partnership with the U.S. Climate Alliance, is tracking the trend towards 100% clean energy among states and helping those states achieve their goals.