The Most Impressive State for Clean Energy

15 Sep 2016


In the highly public race among states trying to get the most electricity from clean and renewable sources, it’s not surprising who’s making the most noise. Hawaii—environmentally sensitive islands without access to fossil fuels—has been the most aggressive, passing a law last year that will require its utilities to get 100 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2045. Liberal coastal bastions led by charismatic governors aren’t far behind. In 2015 California passed a law requiring 50 percent renewables by 2030. And New York, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo has pushed hard for green initiatives, said last month that it would aim to get to 50 percent by 2030.

These goals, while laudable, are distant. Meanwhile, as is often the case, the most impressive work is happening more quietly in the middle of the country, by state bureaucrats and softer-spoken utility executives. One of the states that’s had the most success getting the most electricity from renewable sources is neither an island nor a coastal liberal bastion. It’s Iowa.

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