2021 State Energy Strategy

Washington is developing 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 development of the strategy will include a sector- and topic-specific technical advisory process to evaluate policies and actions with both quantitative and qualitative analysis. The outcome will feed into a set of advisory committee recommendations to the Department of Commerce and, ultimately, a final report to the governor and legislators.

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 are expected to be two structured listening sessions/hearings on both sides of the state to provide a forum for the advisory committee and the Department of Commerce to gather formal input on the draft advice and recommendations that the advisory committee develops. Whenever possible, advisory committee meetings will be open to the public, will be accessible remotely and will include an opportunity for public comment.

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Upcoming Events

Advisory Committee Meeting: June 11, 2020

  • For more details, check back soon and sign up for email updates.

Past Events

Deep Decarbonization Webinar 2: Wednesday, 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: January 10, 2020

 

Advisory Committee

Resources

Clean Energy Resources

Need Help?

Kate Kelly
Senior Energy Policy Specialist
Energy Division
energystrategy@commerce.wa.gov
Phone: (360) 628-6846

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