State mandates that require power generators to produce an increasingly larger percentage of power from clean sources is driving development of renewable energy.
Several states recently upped their goals, moves that will likely mean power production will continue to shift from fossil fuels to wind power, solar power and other forms of clean energy.
California, for example, revised its renewable energy target to 100 percent carbon-free power electricity sales by 2045, up from 50 percent by 2030, according to the Energy Department. The new target makes California the second state after Hawaii to set a 100 percent clean power target. California has the nation’s second-highest sales of retail electricity, followed only by Texas.
Massachusetts increased its clean power target to 55 percent of sales by 2050, up from an earlier goal of 46 percent. In New Jersey, the renewable power target was raised to 50 percent of sales by 2030, up from 24 percent by 2024.
States with legally binding renewable energy standards account for 63 percent of the nation’s total electricity retail sales in 2018. Twenty-nine states have binding policies and eight states have nonbinding renewable goals.
In Texas, regulators in 1999 set a renewable energy standard of 5,000 megawatts of new renewable power by 2015 and 10,000 megawatts by 2025. Texas surpassed its 2025 target in 2009, according to the Energy Department.
In the most recent report filed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Texas recorded 26,045 megawatts of registered renewable energy in 2017, more than two and one-half times the state’s 2025 goal. The last time Texas modified its renewable energy standard was in 2005.