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New report shows Washington leadership in decade of U.S. renewable energy progress

For Immediate Release

Washington ranks third in the nation for cumulative electric vehicle sales, according to a new report released today by Environment Washington Research & Policy Center. The project, Renewables on the Rise 2020, documents and compares the growth of five key clean energy technologies in each state over the past decade: solar power, wind power, battery storage, energy efficiency and electric vehicles. Washington also tops the charts at no. five nationwide for its number of public electric vehicle charging stations.

"Americans have been clamoring for clean energy and transportation over the past decade, and Washington has heard the call," said Searson, 100% Renewable campaign director with Environment Washington Research & Policy Center. “The gains Washington has seen, especially in electric vehicle adoption, should give state leaders the confidence to continue picking up the pace.” 

Washington also compares favorably with other U.S. states in energy efficiency, ranking 12th nationwide for improvements in electricity efficiency since 2010, and in wind, coming in 15th for growth in wind energy production since 2010. However, the Evergreen State lags behind most when it comes to progress on solar energy, despite abundant solar energy potential, especially in Eastern Washington. 

Innovative policies, combined with technological advances and declining costs have played a key role in driving clean energy adoption, according to the report. Washington’s energy leadership is in part due to strong policies, including its commitment to achieving 100 percent clean electricity by 2045.

In addition to highlighting states that have made the most progress in adopting renewable energy technologies, the study also shows the rapid gains achieved overall nationally. In 2019, the U.S. produced 30 times more solar power and more than triple the amount of wind energy than it did in 2010. In addition to the growth in renewable energy, utility scale battery storage increased 20-fold since 2010, energy consumption per person declined thanks to improvements in energy efficiency, and more than one million electric vehicles were sold in the U.S. 

“This project offers a timely reminder that clean energy technologies have risen to the occasion, and are already delivering for millions of Americans and Washingtonians,” Searson said. “We are so much closer to the clean, renewable energy future we need than we were ten years ago, and we should keep working to ensure that the next decade brings us even further.”

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Environment Washington Research & Policy Center is dedicated to protecting our air, water and open spaces. We work to protect the places we love, advance the environmental values we share, and win real results for our environment. For more information, visit www.environmentwashingtoncenter.org