This paper provides an overview of current Governor leadership on advancing clean energy.
Governors are leading on incentivizing and investing in clean energy. As of this writing, 30 states, Washington, D.C., and three territories have adopted a mandatory Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), while 7 states and one territory have set renewable energy goals. Of these, 14 Governors and D.C. have ordered or signed into law 100 percent clean energy or zero-carbon electricity generation goals. This paper provides an overview of current Governor leadership on advancing clean energy. It provides a background on recent Governors’ actions ahead of a workshop that NGA will be hosting this fall that will help Governors’ energy advisors and other state energy policymakers explore, develop, and refine strategies to achieve their energy goals.
2016 and 2019 were the warmest years on record, and 2020 is on track to be even warmer. As a result, states are seeing extreme weather events such as hurricanes, heat waves, wild fires, and winter storms increase in severity and frequency. Scientists attribute increases in extreme weather events to rising global temperatures, largely resulting from emissions from increased energy use. At the same time, the price of clean energy technologies is dropping and consumer demand for renewable and on-site generation is increasing. These factors, coupled with a desire for more diverse power generation and a greater focus on resilience, are driving many Governors to focus on clean energy resources.