At the beginning of April, the General Assembly passed the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA). Not only is Virginia the first southern state to target a goal of 100% clean power, but it is the first southern state to establish a clean-energy transition whatsoever.
How will they do it?
1. Entering the RGGI (Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative) and developing what is called a “cap-and-trade” system, which will help propel a faster transition to clean energy and provide revenue flow to communities that are considered vulnerable.
2. Set aggressive clean energy targets: 58% by 2030, 73% by 2035, 88% by 2040, and 100% by 2050.
3. Energy efficiency, which would be a resource established requiring investor-owned utilities to reduce the overall energy demand for its customers. The law would create a Percentage of Income Payment Program that would place a cap on the amount they pay for electricity set to a percentage of their income.
4. Boosting renewables: Under the new Renewable Portfolio Standard, Virginia anticipates installing at least 5.2 GW of offshore wind by 2034, lifting cap the cap of power purchase agreements and large-scale renewable energy will be procured through “competitive auctions” to keep costs as low as possible.