New legislation would formalize Rhode Island’s 100% renewable energy transition

New legislation passed by the Rhode Island state Senate would create a plan to realize goals established in 2020 by executive order.

The Senate approved Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio’s bill (2022-S 2274A) that would require 100% of all electricity sold in Rhode Island be generated from renewable sources by 2033 — the most ambitious timeline of any state in the nation. The Senate approved similar legislation introduced by President Ruggerio during the 2021 session.

“Here in the Ocean State, we know that action to address the climate crisis cannot wait. Rhode Islanders are already feeling the effects of climate change, and the risks facing our communities will grow increasingly dire in the years ahead,” President Ruggerio said. “This legislation sets out a bold but achievable goal and builds on the historic progress we made in 2021 through the Act on Climate† It will keep Rhode Island, home to the nation’s first offshore wind farm, at the forefront of renewable energy innovation. And it will help us harness the power of clean energy as a driver of economic growth and opportunity.”

Current state law requires annual 1.5 percentage point increases in the amount of electricity required to be generated from renewable sources through 2035. President Ruggerio’s legislation would accelerate those increases, and go further, to achieve a 100% Renewable Energy Standard in 2033. The legislation establishes the rate of increase as follows:

  • 4% increase in 2023,
  • 5% increase in 2024,
  • 6% increase in 2025,
  • 7% increase in 2026, and 2027,
  • 7.5% increase in 2028,
  • 8% increase in 2029,
  • 8.5% increase in 2030,
  • 9% increase in 2031, and
  • 9.5% increase in 2032 and 2033

The legislation, which originally set a 2030 target date, is designed to effectively phase in the transition to a fully renewable-powered Rhode Island and allow time for the necessary expansion of capacity.

“If passed, this bill will launch Rhode Island into the upper echelon of America’s clean energy leadership states,” said Johanna Neumann, senior director of the Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy for Environment Rhode Island.

News item from the State of Rhode Island General Assembly

About The Author

Kelsey Misbrener

Kelsey is managing editor of Solar Power World and host of the Contractor’s Corner podcast.

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