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Environmental Protection & Preservation

States Reach Renewable Energy Milestone

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) projects that 21 states and the District of Columbia that have adopted renewable electricity standards are on track to reduce their global warming emissions by 108 million metric tons (MMT) of carbon dioxide by 2020, an amount equivalent to taking 17.7 million cars off the road. Recent increases in the amount of renewable electricity required under existing standards in Colorado, Minnesota and New Mexico put the states over the 100 MMT milestone.

By 2020, UCS projects the state standards will produce more than 46,000 megawatts of clean, renewable power, enough to meet the needs of 28.5 million typical homes. State renewable electricity standards are expanding, with at least 10 more states considering adopting a requirement or raising existing targets. The success of state renewable energy standards is helping build momentum for a federal standard of 20 percent renewable energy by 2020. The federal standard would increase renewable energy output nearly four times over current state standards.

To help track and compare state standards, UCS has developed a new, one-stop resource, the Renewable Electricity Standards Toolkit.

The toolkit includes summaries of all 22 standards, as well as maps illustrating existing standards and projections for future renewable energy development. In addition, the toolkit features a database with detailed information about state standards, ranging from how renewable energy technologies are defined to how standards are enforced.

UCS experts are available to comment on the politics, economics and environmental benefits of renewable energy and the traditional fossil fuels that it can replace.

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