In 2022, Maryland’s economy was ranked 17th in the United States in gross domestic product (GDP). The state’s economy is dependent on biotechnology, information technology, telecommunications, aerospace, defense, agriculture, and fishing industries.
In 2004, Maryland enacted a Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard, 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 Standard, requiring all state utilities to generate 50% of all electricity from renewable energy by 2030.
Power Generation Capabilities
In June 2023, state utilities used nuclear power (45.8%), natural gas (43.7%), renewable energy (7.4 %), and coal (3.1%) to generate electricity. Hydropower, solar, and wind are the dominant types of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Maryland.
In June 2023, the average cost of residential electricity in Maryland was 16.99¢ per kWh, compared to the national average of 16.11¢ per kWh.
Recent renewable energy developments in Maryland include:
- 966 MW Offshore Wind Project – Danish company, Ørsted is continuing work on the Skipjack Wind 1 and 2 Farm, which is located approximately 19.5 miles off the Maryland coast. The project is scheduled to be commissioned by July 2026.
- 300 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 20 miles off the coast of The project is scheduled to be commissioned by year-end 2025.
- 170 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 July 2024.
- 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 began in Maryland in the early 1800s. Coal was initially used to fuel steam engines for the railroad, forges, and furnaces.
In 2022, fourteen coal mines operated in Maryland. These mines produced 1.51 million tons of bituminous coal, which was primarily used to fuel power plants in the region.
In 2010, 54.1% of Maryland’s electricity was generated from coal-fueled power plants. In June 2023, only 3.1% of Maryland’s electricity was generated from coal. Why the decrease?
- 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.
- Environment – Coal 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.
- Climate Change – Coal generates 40% to 45% more greenhouse gases than natural gas.
In June 2023, only 7.4 % 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.
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.