Maryland Approves Clean Energy Jobs Act, New Renewables Goals

The US state of Maryland has passed a bill that will double its renewable electricity standard by 2030, press on solar and facilitate the procurement of up to 1.2 GW of additional offshore wind off the state’s coast.

The Clean Energy Jobs Act (SB 516) calls for the state to lift the share of renewables in its power generation mix to 50% by 2030 and seek ways to go all-green by 2040, the Maryland Climate Coalition said on Monday. Under the state’s current law, the renewable electricity standard is 25% by 2020.

To support those targets, the legislation will make rooftop and utility-scale solar common forms of power generation in the coming years, while providing incentives for the deployment of 1.2 GW of offshore wind power capacity. Legislators, however, did not take a decision to remove waste incineration subsidies — an issue regarded as “a controversial loophole,” allowing the polluting technology to get the same incentives as wind and solar.

In order to become law, the bill needs to be signed by governor Larry Hogan. “This bill now makes Maryland a true national leader in the fight against climate change and in favor of clean energy,” said Mike Tidwell, director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network and CCAN Action Fund.

Offshore wind developer US Wind Inc welcomed the passage of the bill, saying Maryland is thus “reclaiming its leadership position in the fast-developing offshore wind energy sector underway in the United States.”


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