Md. Renewable Energy Growth, By the Numbers

    In the past decade, Maryland has seen an increase of 35,090% in the amount of electricity it gets from solar power, and a 550% increase in wind power production, according to a report released Thursday.

    The Environment Maryland Research & Policy Center report also found that Maryland is ranked 16th among the states for improvements in electricity energy efficiency programs, including energy storage and electric vehicles.

    “Every day, there’s more evidence that a future fueled by renewable energy is within our reach,” said Kate Breimann, an advocate with Environment Maryland Research & Policy Center. “In 2009, Maryland wasn’t even on the map for solar production and now we are the 15th most productive state in terms of solar energy. The progress we’ve made in the last decade on renewable energy and technologies like battery storage and electric cars should give Marylanders the confidence that we can take clean energy to the next level.”

    The report, Renewables on the Rise: A Decade of Progress Toward a Clean Energy Future, provides a state-by-state assessment of the growth of key technologies needed to power the nation with clean renewable energy, including wind, solar, energy efficiency, energy storage and electric vehicles. Maryland ranked 15th for solar and 29th for wind, and was in the top 10 states for electric vehicle charging stations.

    The report said the growth in renewable energy use in the past decade is attributable to government policies, improved technologies and lower costs – all of which suggest the potential for continued development in the years to come.

    Maryland is breaking ground on an offshore wind farm in the coming months and this year lawmakers passed legislation committing the state to a goal of generating 50% of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

    More recently, Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) outlined a goal to generate 100% renewable energy by 2040, though he will likely push to use nuclear energy and hydropower in that calculation.

    “I am proud of the work Maryland has done to grow clean energy technologies, ranking #16 in the nation for improving electricity energy efficiency programs, while adding thousands of new, green jobs,” said Sen. Brian J. Feldman (D-Montgomery), sponsor of the Clean Energy Jobs Act, which boosts the renewable portfolio standard to 50 percent of the electric supply.

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    Josh Kurtz
    Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.