Washington, D.C., to require 100% renewable electricity by 2032

By Erin Voegele | January 28, 2019

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser recently signed legislation that mandates the district source 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2032. The district’s previous renewable portfolio standard called for 50 percent renewables by 2032.

On Jan. 18, Bowser signed the Clean Energy D.C. Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018. According to information released by Bowser’s office, the bill includes 57 action items for how the district will reach 100 percent renewable electricity. It also includes provisions related to energy efficiency at existing buildings, energy bill assistance for low- and moderate-income residents, and funding the D.C. Green Bank to provide investment in clean energy projects. The bill also doubles the required amount of solar energy deployed in the district and requires all public transportation and privately owned fleet vehicles to become emissions-free by 2045.

The legislation was first introduced on July 10. The Washington, D.C., City Council voted 13-0 in favor of the bill on Dec. 18.

Starting in 2019, the updated RPS requires the district to source 17.5 percent of its electricity from tier one renewable sources, 0.5 percent of its electricity from tier two renewable sources, and 1.85 percent of its electricity from solar energy. In 2020, 20 percent must be sourced from tier one renewables sources and 2.175 percent from solar energy. There is no requirement in the bill for tier two renewables starting in 2020. The requirements ramp up through 2032, when 100 percent of the electricity supplied to the district must be sourced from tier one renewables, with 5.5 percent of that volume sourced from solar energy. The solar requirement continues to increase through 2041, when 10 percent of the district’s electricity must be sourced from solar energy.

Under current law, tier one renewables include solar, wind, biomass with greater than 65 percent efficiency, landfill gas, waste-water treatment gas, geothermal, ocean, fuel cells fueled by tier one resources, and wastewater. Tier two renewables include hydropower.

Additional information, including a full copy of the legislation, can be downloaded from the Washington, D.C., City Council website