Rhode Island plans for 100% RE by 2030 - Smart Energy Decisions

Sourcing Renewables  -  July 28, 2020

Rhode Island plans for 100% RE by 2030

The State of Rhode Island announced that it is pursuing 100% renewable energy by 2030 using mostly offshore wind energy.

The state’s Office of Energy Resources presented at a public workshop on July 9 the path that they intend to follow in order to achieve these renewables targets and identified a December 31, 2020, deadline for the development and implementation of a climate action plan.

In the first quarter of 2020, Rhode Island had a clean energy portfolio of 920 MW made of small hydro sources, landfill gas and anaerobic digestion, onshore wind, solar and offshore wind. The state plans to achieve 1,000 MW by the end of 2020.

Rhode Island produced 13% of its electricity from renewable sources in 2019; that number is expected to rise to approximately 52% in 2024 when the Revolution Wind project comes online (contributing an additional 1,300 GW), in addition to new renewables from existing programs that encourage the purchase of RECs and incentive new renewable energy production.

Given all the incoming capacity with new renewable projects coming online, the state has 40% of its annual electricity consumption to be filled in order for their goal to be achieved.

The Brattle Group crafted a look into the logistics of such an action plan, prioritizing climate leadership, power sector decarbonization and facilitating broader decarbonization in other sectors and states. Additionally, a sweeping clean energy plan would be cost effective and encourage energy and environmental equity. They also warned against the possibility that too much use of RECs would reduce incentives to construct new renewable energy projects that actually contribute to decarbonization.

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