By Laura Shields
State legislatures are at the forefront of a transitioning energy economy—enacting comprehensive policies designed to modernize an aging electric grid, increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In 2019, more than 1,500 bills were under consideration that focused on renewable energy or energy efficiency, and of those, roughly 200 were enacted. To help you keep pace with the flurry of state activity in this space, NCSL’s Energy Program recently released a series of resources covering the latest on state energy policy issues.
New NCSL Report: "Modernizing the Electric Grid: State Role and Policy Options" provides a comprehensive overview of the challenges facing states in making the infrastructure upgrades needed to successfully integrate new technologies and improve resilience. The report covers a number of emerging policy issues, including energy storage, distributed energy resources, utility regulation, cybersecurity, and policies that promote energy innovation.
New Web Publications: Two additional resources provide policymakers with deep dives into state energy policy areas where we’ve seen a growing interest among state legislatures.
The first covers state Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets and Market-based Policies designed to tackle emissions from the transportation and power sectors, the two highest-emitting sectors in the U.S. economy.
In addition to providing an overview of state policy approaches, the brief also identifies which states have enacted a combination of policies, such as binding economy-wide reduction targets and market-based policies designed to cap emissions from individual sectors.
The second covers state Energy Efficiency Resource Standards (EERS), which require utilities to implement measures to achieve a certain percentage reduction of electricity or natural gas demand each year. This publication identifies various state policy approaches to EERS programs and provides an analysis of state implementation challenges. EERS policies play a crucial role in a state’s ability to cost-effectively meet energy demand and are a cost-effective approach and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Laura Shields is a policy associate in NCSL’s Energy Progam.