“OLD LINE STATE” GOING GREEN

The current population of the “Old Line State,” Maryland is approximately 6.11 million people. In December 2018, state utilities used nuclear energy (40.3%), natural gas (29.5%), coal (17.2%) and renewable energy (13.0%) to generate electricity. Hydropower is the primary source of renewable energy in Maryland.

Maryland’s reliance on nuclear energy and coal contributes to state’s above average electricity costs. In December 2018, the average cost of electricity in Maryland was U.S. 13.2 ¢ per kWh, which is the 15th most expensive price in the United States. The average price of electricity in the United States is 12.5 ¢ per kWh. Concerns over climate change have prompted state leaders to make the development of new renewable energy projects a priority.

Maryland state legislator’s have recently passed the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA). The bill now goes to Governor Larry Hogan for signature. The CEJA mandates that state utilities achieve a 50% renewable energy goal by 2030, including 14.5% specifically for solar power. The bill also requires the state to explore methods to achieve 100% zero carbon emissions by 2040.

Maryland is joining California, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico and New York in developing programs to dramatically reduce carbon emissions from state utilities. The programs in each state will not only reduce greenhouse gases but will save consumers money by moving from expensive fossil fuels to renewable energy.

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