Governor Ralph Northam has signed Executive Order 43, which establishes ambitious statewide goals and targets for clean energy deployment and expands upon the Commonwealth’s commitments to reduce our environmental impact, mitigate the impacts of climate change and boost the clean energy economy in Virginia. Governor Northam made the announcement today at the Virginia Clean Energy Summit in Richmond.
The Executive Order lays out Virginia’s objectives for statewide energy production, which directs state agencies and public institutions to reduce electricity consumption by 10% by 2022, using 2006 as the baseline. Specifically, it states that the order:
Covers both the existing building stock as well as new construction. As part of the RCMP framework, all state agencies and institutions should utilize energy performance contracting (EPC) to reduce energy consumption. EPC is a budget neutral, cost-effective tool that allows state agencies and publicly-owned facilities to reduce their deferred maintenance backlogs without adding any financial burden to the taxpayer.
The executive order also proposes a goal that by 2030, 30% of Virginia’s electric system will be powered by renewable energy resources and by 2050, 100% of Virginia’s electricity will be produced from carbon-free sources such as wind, solar and nuclear. The path forward includes ensuring at least 3,000 megawatts of solar and onshore wind are under development by 2022, and that up to 2,500 megawatts of offshore wind are fully developed on an accelerated timeline by 2026.
The Executive Order establishes lead-by-example targets for increasing energy efficiency and sets forth a goal of procuring at least 30% of the electricity consumed by the Commonwealth’s agencies and executive branch institutions from renewable resources by 2022.
This Executive Order directs the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce and Trade, the Secretary of Natural Resources, and the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality, to develop a plan of action to meet these renewable energy goals. The plan will also address issues related to energy storage, energy efficiency, equity, and environmental justice.
The Chief Workforce Advisor and the Secretary of Commerce and Trade will work with stakeholders to develop an energy workforce plan that supports the growing needs of the energy efficiency and renewable energy sector and creates career pathways for the communities that need them the most by aligning current curriculum and training programs with job opportunities.
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