Maryland Struggles To Achieve Renewable Energy Commitments

State Economy

The population of the state of Maryland is approximately 6.15 million people[1]. Maryland is the 19th most populated state in the United States.

In 2022, Maryland’s economy was ranked 17th in the United States in gross domestic product (GDP)[2]. The state’s economy is dependent on the biotechnology, information technology, telecommunications, aerospace, defense, agriculture, and fishing industries[3].

Environmental Policies

In 2004, Maryland enacted a Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard[4], requiring all state utilities generate 7.5% of all electricity sales from renewable energy by 2019.

In 2007, Maryland joined the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a ten state cooperative designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and encourage investments in energy efficiency and clean energy.

In 2019, Maryland revised the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Sta, requiring all state utilities to generate 50% of all electricity from renewable energy by 2030.

Power Generation Capabilities

In February 2023, state utilities used natural gas (43.7%), nuclear power (42.0%), renewable energy (11.4 %), and coal (2.8%) to generate electricity[5]. Hydropower, solar, and wind are the primary types of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Maryland.

In February 2023, the average cost of residential electricity in Maryland was 16.12¢ per kWh, compared to the national average of 15.96¢ per kWh.

Recent renewable energy developments in Maryland include:

  • 270 MW Offshore Wind Project – US Wind, a subsidiary of Italian multinational, Toto Holdings is continuing work on the MarWin Wind Farm, which is located approximately 17 miles off the coast of The project is scheduled to be commissioned by year-end 2025.
  • 175 MW Solar Project – Virginia power company, Competitive Power Ventures is continuing work on the Backbone Solar Farm. The project is being built in the western part of the state and is scheduled to be commissioned by year-end 2023.
  • 120 MW Offshore Wind Project – Danish power company, Ørsted is continuing work on the Skipjack Wind Farm, which is located approximately 19.5 miles off the Maryland coast. The project is scheduled to be commissioned by year-end 2026.
  • 9 MW Solar Project – In January 2022, Maryland solar company Standard Solar commissioned the Klees Mill Community Solar project at a site approximately 40 miles northwest of the state capital, Annapolis.


Commercial coal mining in Maryland in the early 1800s[6]. Coal was initially used to fuel steam engines for the railroad, forges, and furnaces.

In 2021, nine surface and one subsurface coal mines operated in Maryland[7]. These mines produced 1.26 million tons of bituminous coal, which was primarily used to fuel regional power plants.

In 2010, 54.1% of Maryland’s electricity was generated from coal-fueled power plants[8]. In February 2023, only 2.8% of Maryland’s electricity was generated from coal. Why the decrease?

  1. Economics The cost to generate power from wind, solar, and hydropower is significantly cheaper than coal. The cost to generate power from coal-fired plants is over twice the cost of wind or solar.
  2. EnvironmentCoal ash, the product of coal burned in a power plant contains arsenic, mercury, and lead; which are toxic. In 2019, coal ash was reported to have contaminated the ground water around 241 coal-fired plants in America[9].
  3. Climate Change Coal generates 40% to 45% more greenhouse gases than natural gas.

In February 2023, only 11.4 % of Maryland’s electricity was generated from renewable energy. State utilities are facing a daunting challenge to meet the 50% electricity renewable energy mandate by 2030/ Maryland is struggling to meet its renewable energy commitments.


Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio, podcast, and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on numerous energy issues.

[1] Maryland Population 2022, World Population Review

[2] U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis

[3] Biggest Industries in Maryland – World Atlas

[4] National Conference of State Legislators – State Renewable Portfolio Standards and Goals, August 13, 2021

[5] U.S. Energy Information Agency – Maryland State Profile and Energy Estimates

[6]Maryland State Archives, Mines and Quarries, November 19, 2020

[7] U.S. EIA, Annual Coal Report 2021, Published October 2022

[8] U.S. Energy Information Agency, Maryland Electric Power Consumption Estimates 1960 – 2018

[9] Reuters, “Coal Ash Contaminates Groundwater Near Most U.S. Coal Plants: Study” by Valerie Volcovici, March 3, 2019

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