August 07, 2019

West Coast States and Cities Sprint Ahead with Decarbonization Legislation

Molly K.D. Barker and Alexa Shasteen

A decade after the implosion of federal efforts to pass cap and trade legislation and a world away from the current administration’s climate-change denialism, a quiet revolution in electric grid decarbonization is underway in the western United States. Wind and solar prices have plummeted in recent years and supply continues to grow, thanks in part to technological innovations and market maturation spurred by the earliest generation of renewable portfolio standards implemented in the early 2000s. As a result, wind and solar generation increased from 1 to 10 percent of the country’s electricity mix between 2008 and 2017.

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