The governor of the state of Maryland, Larry Hogan, has confirmed that legislation known as the Clean Energy Jobs Act is to become law, a move that will be a big boost for offshore wind and solar.
The legislation will increase the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to 50% by 2030 and includes a 14.5% carve out for solar and a 10% carve out for offshore wind, which equates to a minimum of 1.2 GW.
The RPS currently requires that electricity suppliers generate 20.4% of the state’s energy from renewable sources, including at least 1.95% being derived from solar energy and 2.5% from offshore wind energy, so the legislation is a significant boost for the prospects for renewable energy in the east coast state.
The governor also approved a Clean and Renewable Energy Standard (CARES), which includes a goal of 100% clean electricity by 2040, to be achieved by using zero and low-carbon clean and renewable energy sources.
Governor Hogan made the announcement about the RPS and CARES in a letter to Senate President Thomas ‘Mike’ Miller, indicating that he would allow the legislation, Senate Bill 516, to take effect without his signature.
Although he approved the bill, he expressed concerns that the legislation “could send too many jobs out of state and enable poor environmental stewardship.
“Despite its name, this bill is not clean enough, nor smart enough, nor does it create the intended jobs within Maryland,” wrote Governor Hogan, who went on to say “this legislation appears politically motivated – it mandates a broad and untargeted increase in the RPS that threatens to roll back our progress and send jobs and environmental benefits to other states.”
The governor added that, in his view, the measure “failed to address land use issues and could impose serious damage on economically and environmentally sensitive areas and viewsheds.” He went on to say, “While Senate Bill 516 masquerades as a job-creating proposal, Maryland stands to lose out on far too many of those jobs to out-of-state companies.”
“Our CARES plan aims to get us to zero carbon emissions,” the governor said. “It uses competition to get better results at a lower cost to ratepayers. Our CARES target is clear – 100% clean electricity by 2040. This better and bolder goal is what our state should be striving for as we continue to set an example for the rest of the nation.”