The Washington State Department of Commerce (formerly the Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development or CTED) has announced that it is attempting to revise Washington’s comprehensive energy plan (the “State Energy Strategy”).
The State Energy Strategy was last revised in 2003, and it does not serve current energy realities and forecasts. Therefore, the Washington State Legislature has tasked the Department of Commerce with updating the State Energy Strategy while taking account the following three goals and nine principles:
1) Maintain competitive energy prices;
2) Foster a clean energy economy and jobs; and
3) Meet obligations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
1) Pursue all cost-effective energy efficiency and conservation as the state’s preferred energy resource, consistent with state law;
2) Ensure that the state’s energy system meets the health, welfare, and economic needs of its citizens with particular emphasis on meeting the needs of low-income and vulnerable populations;
3) Maintain and enhance economic competitiveness by ensuring an affordable and reliable supply of energy resources and by supporting clean energy technology innovation, access to clean energy markets worldwide, and clean energy business and workforce development;
4) Reduce dependence on fossil fuel energy sources through improved efficiency and development of cleaner energy sources, such as bioenergy, low-carbon energy sources, and natural gas, and leveraging the indigenous resources of the state for the production of clean energy;
5) Improve efficiency of transportation energy use through advances in vehicle technology, increased system efficiencies, development of electricity, biofuels, and other clean fuels, and regional transportation planning to improve transportation choices;
6) Meet the state’s statutory greenhouse gas limits and environmental requirements as the state develops and uses energy resources;
7) Build on the advantage provided by the state’s clean regional electrical grid by expanding and integrating additional carbon-free and carbon-neutral generation, and improving the transmission capacity serving the state;
8) Make state government a model for energy efficiency, use of clean and renewable energy, and greenhouse gas-neutral operations; and
9) Maintain and enhance our state’s existing energy infrastructure.
The Department of Commerce is opening a collaborative process to update and revise the State Energy Strategy and has invited stakeholders to participate. In order to assist collaboration, the Department of Commerce has created a website hosting information about past energy strategies, guiding legislation, advisory and technical committee activities, and a schedule of events. Moreover, the public can sign up for list serve to receive updates and provide feedback.