Investor-owned utilities in Washington State will need to use renewable energy for 15 percent of their electricity supply by 2020. They won't necessarily need to make the green energy themselves, since they can buy renewable energy credits from other producers. Wind, solar, geothermal, ocean energy, hydropower and certain types of biomass energy all count as renewable energy. Biodiesel counts as long as it was not made from crops grown on land that was one old-growth forest. The details are in the initiative text (PDF).

These changes are due to Initiative Measure 937, which passed by a small margin (about 51.6 percent in favor) last Tuesday. The pro-937 group's website offers thanks to all the measure's supporters, including Robert Redford.

In related news, it was widely reported that Proposition 87 failed in California, but I missed the vote in Boulder, Colorado that approved an extra tax on electricity bills to pay for the city's Climate Action Plan. The CAP promotes energy efficiency, renewable energy use and reduced emissions from vehicles.

Electric carmakers that want to avoid the "long tailpipe" struggle should start investing in Washington State soon, don't you think? Get that 15 percent number moved up a notch or two.

[Source: Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)]


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