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New “Renewables on the Rise 2022” Dashboard Shows Virginia Making Progress on Electric Vehicles, Solar, Wind…

"Virginia’s Clean Economy Act of 2020 has helped drive the adoption of clean energy in the commonwealth"

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From Environment Virginia:

Virginia among national leaders in electric vehicle infrastructure

Interactive dashboard allows users to explore clean energy growth in Virginia and nation over the past decade

RICHMOND, Va. –  Virginia ranks 10th in the nation for growth in electric vehicle charging ports and 12th for growth in electric vehicle sales since 2012, according to a new online dashboard released today by Environment Virginia Research & Policy Center. The dashboard, Renewables on the Rise 2022, documents the growth of six key clean energy technologies across the United States over the past decade: solar power, wind power, battery storage, energy efficiency, electric vehicles and electric vehicle charging stations.

Virginia has seen a nearly 15-fold increase in the amount of electric vehicles sales and a 18-fold increase in the number of electric vehicle charging ports between 2012 and 2021. This analysis comes as Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s administration has called for a different approach in their 2022 Virginia Energy Plan which would end Virginia’s requirement to get more EVs on the road.

“Virginia is making important progress to get more electric cars on the road,” said Elly Boehmer, state director with Environment Virginia Research & Policy Center. “Now is the time for Virginia to put the pedal to the metal on electric vehicle deployment, not slam on the brakes.”

The dashboard also found that Virginia ranked 5th in the country by percent change in solar generation 2012-2021, generating 3,660 more gigawatt-hours of power from the sun in 2021 than the state did in 2012. Virginia also saw its first wind energy project come online in 2021. The Youngkin’s administration’s energy plan would shift Virginia’s focus away from growing solar, wind and geothermal and towards an “all of the above” energy strategy that includes polluting fossil fuels.

In addition to highlighting states that have made the most progress in adopting renewable energy technologies, the research also details the rapid gains achieved nationally over the past decade. According to the report, America produced more than three times as much renewable electricity from the sun, the wind and the earth in 2021 as in 2012.

The Inflation Reduction Act, passed by Congress this summer and signed by President Biden offers consumers tax credits and discounts on more than a dozen types of energy-saving purchases, including new and used electric vehicles, rooftop solar, geothermal heating and cooling, upgrading electric panels, and heat pump HVAC systems, water heaters and clothes dryers. Some of the credits are in effect now, and many will take effect in 2023.

Modeling by Energy Innovation found that the provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act will spur clean energy and reduce pollution from fossil fuels, preventing up to 4,500 premature deaths and up to 119,000 asthma attacks annually by 2030.

“Virginia’s Clean Economy Act of 2020 has helped drive the adoption of clean energy in the commonwealth,” said Boehmer. “With federal tax credits promising to turbocharge clean energy, now is the time for Virginia to lean into our clean energy commitments to deliver cleaner air, cleaner water and a more stable climate for the Old Dominion. It is more important than ever that Virginia does not roll back this progress.

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Environment Virginia Research & Policy Center is a 501(c)(3) organization. We are dedicated to protecting our air, water and open spaces. We investigate problems, craft solutions, educate the public and decision-makers, and help the public make their voices heard in local, state and national debates over the quality of our environment and our lives. For more information, visit www.environmentvirginiacenter.org.

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