More states are proposing and passing legislation to impose 100% clean energy. In February, Virginia became the most recent state adding to the growing list committing to 100% clean energy. Virginia joins California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Washington and Wisconsin, along with U.S. territories Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico which have all enacted legislation or executive orders committing to generating clean energy. These states are united in hopes of making strides toward a single cause: slowing climate change. There are important distinctions, however, in the plans each state or territory is setting to get there.
Notably, some states are setting clean energy goals, while others are aiming towards renewable energy. Both encourage the use of alternate generation sources such as solar and wind energy, and phasing out the use of fossil fuels. Setting a goal toward clean energy, however, would allow the continuation of sources such as nuclear and carbon capture and sequestration because these options, although not considered renewable, meet the goal of zero emissions.
Almost 75% of states and territories that have enacted clean and renewable energy targets have opted for clean energy rather than renewable energy. It remains to be seen if this trend will continue going forward for states that follow with legislation of their own. It is certain, however, that these types of goals will continue to proliferate on a national and global scale as climate change continues to be a growing topic of concern.