Vermont is on the brink of requiring 100% clean electricity by 2035

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Vermont state lawmakers have passed a measure requiring all utilities to provide 100% clean energy by 2035. This positions Vermont to be among the first states to fully decarbonize, following Rhode Island's 2033 target. The bill, approved by the Vermont Senate on May 7, mandates Green Mountain Power, the state’s largest utility, to meet this target by 2030, while smaller utilities have until 2035. The new standard aims to support broader climate efforts, including electrifying home heating.

Advocates highlight that this renewable energy standard will reduce costs, cut carbon emissions, and create healthier communities. Vermont has sourced nearly all its in-state electricity from renewables since 2015 but still imports some fossil-fuel-generated power. The bill stipulates that by 2035, 20% of electricity must come from new in-state renewable projects, predominantly solar, and Green Mountain Power must source 20% from regional renewable projects.

Vermont joins 24 other states and territories with 100% renewable energy goals, aligning with the Biden administration’s aim for a carbon-free power grid by 2035. However, Governor Phil Scott has expressed cost concerns, though the bill passed with a veto-proof majority.

Collaboration among Vermont utilities, environmental groups, and lawmakers was crucial to the bill's passage, providing a potential model for other states pursuing ambitious clean energy policies.

Original article posted on May 10, 2024

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