Rhode Island chooses a renewable future

This week Rhode Island lawmakers chose to increase the share of renewable energy in their state’s electricity mix. They passed a bill that would raise the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to 40 percent by 2035, significantly high than the old target of 14.5 percent by 2019. Gov. Gina Raimondo is expected to sign the bill into law soon.

Rhode Island families and businesses will soon see more of their electricity coming from renewable sources, and much of it will be provided by clean, low-cost wind energy. Best of all, this news means they’ll keep more money in their pockets as a result.

Wind power has already been good for Rhode Island. It has attracted $20 million in total capital investment to the state’s economy, and tapping into more wind could save consumers $240 million on their electric bills through 2050.  That’s on top of $744 million in savings resulting from protection against conventional fuel price fluctuations. By increasing Rhode Island’s RPS, these benefits will continue to grow.

By choosing to increase Rhode Island’s RPS, state lawmakers are employing a successful policy with a proven track record. Thanks to clean energy standards, the U.S. has 200,000 American jobs, $20 billion of investment, $7.5 billion a year in environmental benefits from reduced air emissions, and up to $4.9 billion in consumers savings from reduced energy prices because of renewable energy development created to meet state standards, according to recent research by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

On top of this good news, America’s first offshore wind farm is expected to come online later this year off the coast of Block Island. That’s just another way Rhode Island is signaling it wants to be a clean energy leader. These moves will help create a cleaner, more prosperous tomorrow for the state’s residents.

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