State Senate president seeks commitment to renewable energy

February 20, 2022 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island’s Senate president wants to require the state to be powered completely by renewable energy by 2030.

Democratic Senate President Dominick Ruggerio introduced legislation this week. The Senate approved his similar legislation last year, but it stalled in the House.

Former Gov. Gina Raimondo signed an executive order in 2020 setting a goal for the electric grid to operate with 100% renewable energy by 2030. Ruggerio’s bill would write that goal into law, accelerate current plans and outline the path forward.

“Rhode Islanders are already feeling the effects of climate change and the risks facing our communities will grow increasingly dire in the years ahead,” Ruggerio said. “This legislation sets out a bold but achievable goal.”

Current state law requires annual 1.5 percentage point increases in the amount of electricity required to be generated from renewable sources through 2035. Ruggerio wants increases of 4% in 2022, 5% in 2023, 6% in 2024, 11% in 2025, 2026 and 2027, and 11.5% in 2028, 2029 and 2030, achieving a 100% Renewable Energy Standard in 2030.

A 2021 state report found the 2030 goal is possible, but would require the ongoing construction of renewable energy projects as transportation and heating transition to electric power.