Report: States take the reins on clean energy, despite federal policy changes
- In the wake of President Trump's policy reversals on clean energy and the environment —including withdrawing from the Paris climate accord — individual states have stepped up their focus on policies aimed at boosting carbon-free energy.
- According to S&P Global Market Intelligence, states have enacted 59 key energy-related policies through August 2017, and the industry is focused on developing new business models around new technologies.
- Over the summer, a dozen states and Puerto Rico formed the U.S. Climate Alliance and committed to reducing emissions 26% or 28% from 2005 levels, and meeting or exceeding the targets of the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan.
The federal government may have reversed course on key energy policies, but states have stepped in according to new analysis from S&P. Almost five dozen policies have been enacted so far this year, according to the firm, with renewable energy policies making up the largest category.
"Our coverage has shown that states are taking a proactive approach in reaching Renewables Portfolio Standards, despite the shift in focus from policy makers at the federal level," Nick Kapur, senior director of energy at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said in a statement.
But while the trend towards clean, distributed, and mobile energy resources is "well underway and recognized," said Kapur, "industry stakeholders are still grappling with how to restructure their business models, redesign their regulatory processes, and establish new infrastructure requirements needed to power the grid of the future."
Of the 59 state policies enacted, nine were solar-related, four efficiency, three natural gas, five energy storage and two nuclear. S&P identified nine initiatives as "regulatory-related" and 14 as being focused on renewables.
The active state policy discussions come in the wake of President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord and to rewrite the Clean Power Plan.
States involved in the U.S. Climate Alliance include Washington, New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia, along with Puerto Rico. In addition, more than 200 mayors have committed to the goals of the Paris accord.
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