The Washington State Department of Commerce has released its 2023 Biennial Energy Report, which documents progress made toward clean energy transition, and identifies key next steps needed for the state to advance its energy and climate policies and meet the goal of a decarbonized economy by 2050.
“The recent legislative session saw significant progress for implementation of our state’s clean energy policies,” said Gov. Jay Inslee in a prepared statement. “This report shows that Washington is on the leading edge of climate and energy nationwide, but this transition away from fossil fuels requires additional work to ensure a clean energy economy everyone can benefit from.”
The report shows that the state has made strides on the State Energy Strategy recommendations on clean electricity, transportation electrification, buildings decarbonization, and clean fuels.
The report also details areas where more progress is needed to decarbonize the state’s economy by 2050. According to the report, gaps remain in transmission capacity, distributed energy resource deployment, reducing vehicle miles travelled, decreasing fossil fuel use in residential and commercial buildings, and aligning industrial decarbonization policy with state net-zero emissions goals.
Other key takeaways from the report include:
- While the state has made progress in advancing environmental justice principles through the Healthy Environment for All Act, it remains critical to examine clean-energy policies for equity impacts and provide funding for communities to participate in clean-energy transformation.
- Supporting workers to ensure they have the skills for clean-energy jobs and adopting policies to protect workers in transition is foundational to achieving the state’s energy goals.
- In the next decade, there is an unprecedented amount of federal and state funding available that must be used to advance the recommendations in Washington’s State Energy Strategy and the equitable transition to a clean economy, including prioritizing access to clean energy for underserved and overburdened communities.