2021 State Energy Strategy Development Archive


Washington has developed the 2021 State Energy Strategy to support the state’s ambitious goals to protect our climate, safeguard consumers, and promote a green economy. The call for an updated state energy strategy is part of Washington’s landmark 2019 legislation establishing a new clean electricity standard for Washington, the Clean Energy Transformation Act of 2019 (SB 5116).

The Legislature’s 2019 amendments focus the review and update of the state energy strategy on recommendations to align Washington’s policies and actions with

  • Meeting the state’s greenhouse gas reduction limits, and
  • Transforming the electricity sector to meet the state’s 100% clean standard.

While the policies and actions will be directed at achieving these goals, underlying considerations used to develop the recommendations in the strategy will include:

  • Maintaining reasonable and fair prices and sufficient supply of energy,
  • Promoting a competitive clean energy economy and workforce development across the state,
  • Meeting the needs of low-income and vulnerable populations, and
  • Reaching and responding to the needs of both urban and rural communities.

It is expected that the recommended policies and actions in the 2021 state energy strategy will fall into categories of emphasis, which could include:

  • Identifying and supporting clean energy practices in business, industry and agriculture,
  • Reducing the energy use and carbon emissions of new and existing buildings,
  • Improving and modernizing the state’s electricity supply, structure, systems and grid and,
  • Increasing the use of clean energy for transportation.

The policies and actions laid out in the 2021 State Energy Strategy and implemented to meet the state’s climate goals will vary from sector to sector, but will often present cross-sector opportunities and benefits. Renewable and non-emitting electricity will provide the foundation as the state rapidly transitions away from coal, natural gas, and petroleum in major sectors of the economy. The consistent outcome will be that Washington’s businesses and workforce thrive while the state dramatically reduces overall emissions of greenhouse gases. A just transition will ensure an equitable distribution of the costs and benefits of the clean energy economy.

The 2019 legislation directs the Department of Commerce to review and update the state’s energy strategy by the end of 2020. Among other things, the updated state energy strategy may inform legislative proposals for the 2021 session of the Legislature.

Washington’s state energy strategy was last updated in 2012. The Department of Commerce issued a biennial energy report in 2019 that includes an update on recommendations made in the 2012 strategy.

The Department of Commerce is developing the 2021 State Energy Strategy collaboratively with stakeholders and members of the public. The Legislature established an advisory committee to develop the strategy. The 27-member committee is made up of legislators, government officials, and representatives of civic organizations, energy and utility businesses, and public interest advocates. The committee is operating under a charter adopted by the members.

The development of the strategy will include a sector-specific technical advisory process to evaluate and identify policies and actions using both quantitative and qualitative analysis. The final Strategy will describe specific recommendations for an immediate ten- year horizon and more general descriptions of recommended steps to be taken in the out years as the state works towards our long-term climate goals. The Strategy development effort will conclude with a final report from the Department of Commerce to the Governor and legislators in December 2020.

The public will have opportunities to be involved throughout the development of the 2021 State Energy Strategy. Between now and December, general outreach efforts will include communication through the email sign up list, creating awareness at existing venues and events, and implementing opportunities for public listening and comment in meetings and online. Toward the end of the process, there will be at least one hearing to provide a forum for the Department of Commerce to gather formal input on the draft strategy. Whenever possible, advisory committee meetings will be open to the public, will be accessible remotely, and will include an opportunity for public comment.

Past Events

Advisory Committee Meeting: Dec. 7, 2020

Meeting Materials

Public Comment Period on Second Draft Strategy: Dec. 2 to 11, 2020

Between Dec. 2 and Dec. 11, the Department of Commerce invited public comment on the second draft strategy.

Public Hearing: Dec. 7, 2020

On Monday, Dec. 7, 2020, the Department of Commerce held a two-part virtual public hearing on the second draft strategy.


Advisory Committee Meeting: Nov. 6, 2020

Comments Received on First Draft Strategy (link)

Meeting Materials

Advisory Committee Meeting: Sept. 15, 2020

Stakeholder comments

Meeting Materials

Plenary Session: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Kmyb1yY7Ho

Breakout Group #1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjORIoQL3uk&t=281s

Breakout Group #2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzoEDqXhUJI

Breakout Group #3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpHdODHnLAw

Advisory Committee Meeting: Aug. 25, 2020

Meeting Materials


Advisory Committee Meetings: July 23 and 29, 2020

On the afternoons of July 23 and July 29, subgroups of the State Energy Strategy Advisory Committee participated in three sessions. The sessions provided an opportunity for smaller groups of Advisory Committee members to discuss critical issues to be considered in the identification of policies and actions that will help the state meet our climate goals. The sessions focused on sector-specific questions in the electricity, transportation, buildings, and industry sectors, as well as cross-cutting issues including economic development, workforce opportunities, and equity. Members of the public were able to listen in and there was an opportunity for public participants to provide up to two-minute statements at the end of the sessions.

These sessions were recorded. Links to the recordings and meeting materials are posted below.

Session 1: From 1 to 4:30 pm on Thursday, July 23

Session 2: From 1 to 4:30 pm on Thursday, July 23

Session 3: From 1 to 4:30 pm on Wednesday, July 29

Meeting Materials

Advisory Committee Meeting: June 11, 2020

Meeting Materials


Plenary session recording: TVW here or YouTube here.

Breakout session recordings

Deep Decarbonization Webinar 2: May 27, 2020

This webinar presented draft scenarios and described how they can be used to inform the selection of policies and actions to include in the Washington State 2021 Energy Strategy. The session focused on cross-sector and cross-cutting issues and how modeling will enable an analysis of options in the context of achieving Washington State’s carbon reduction goals.

Deep Decarbonization Webinar 1: May 13, 2020

This webinar offered a deep dive into deep decarbonization pathways modeling. It covered model methodology, assumptions, and how key results will be used to inform policy development in Washington. The webinar introduced the concept of scenario development and how the scenarios will be used to determine preferred approaches to achieving Washington’s carbon reduction goals.

Advisory Committee Meeting: March 31, 2020

Advisory Committee Kickoff Meeting: Jan. 10, 2020