New study shows a decade of progress positions Oregon to take clean energy to the next level

For Immediate Release

PORTLAND- Since 2009, Oregon has seen a 37-fold increase in the amount of electricity generated from the sun, and a 105% increase in wind power generation, according to a new report released today by Environment Oregon Research & Policy Center. The report also highlights advances in the use of energy storage and energy efficiency and ranks Oregon 10th among the states for the number of registered electric vehicles in 2018.

“Every day, there’s more evidence that a future fueled by renewable energy is within our reach,” said Celeste Meiffren-Swango, State Director with Environment Oregon Research & Policy Center. “The progress we’ve made in the last decade on renewable energy and technologies like battery storage and electric cars should give Oregonians confidence that we can take clean energy to the next level.”

The report, Renewables on the Rise: A Decade of Progress Toward a Clean Energy Future, provides a state-by-state assessment of the growth of key technologies needed to power the nation with clean renewable energy, including wind, solar, energy efficiency, energy storage and electric vehicles. Oregon ranked 19th for wind growth and 15th for solar growth from 2009-2018.

“Oregon has seen progress on clean energy, serving as a leader on this transition that is vital for our future,” said Meiffren-Swango.  “But, in order to ensure a healthy future for our kids, we need to continue to lead with by shifting Oregon as quickly as possible to a future fully powered by renewable energy.”

The report describes the factors that caused rapid growth in each category since 2009. They include innovative policies, improved technologies and lower costs -- all of which suggest the potential for continued development in the years to come.

“Policies in Oregon, including the landmark coal to clean law, clean energy incentives and Governor Brown’s 2017 Executive Order to get more electric vehicles on the road, have helped lay a good foundation for a clean energy transition in recent years,” said Meiffren-Swango. “But until our lives are fully powered by clean renewable energy, we still have work to do.”

The report comes as a diverse group of U.S. cities, states, corporations and institutions are committing to 100 percent renewable energy.  There are now six states that have made commitments to 100 percent clean electricity.  At the local level, 131 American cities, led by a mix of Republican and Democratic mayors, have committed to that goal, including the City of Portland. In addition, more than 180 major companies, including Nike, Facebook and Google have committed to power their operations with 100 percent renewable energy.

“The reality is inescapable: Fossil fuels pollute our air, water and land, threatening our health and changing our climate even faster than scientists predicted,” said Meiffren-Swango. “We need to seize the moment, build on recent progress and lean into a future powered by clean renewable energy.”

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Environment Oregon Research & Policy Center is 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. https://environmentoregoncenter.org/