Rhode Island governor signs bill committing state to 100% renewable sources for electricity by 2033

Media Contacts
Johanna Neumann

Senior Director, Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy, Environment America

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Daniel McKee signed a bill into law Wednesday that sets Rhode Island on the fastest path to 100% renewable electricity of any state in the nation. The legislation  (H277/S2274) imposes incrementally rising annual benchmarks for electric suppliers to meet until reaching 100% by 2033. Rhode Island joins nine other states with commitments to 100% clean or renewable energy. 

“With the governor’s signature, Rhode Island jumped to the front of the line of states leading the charge toward a future powered entirely by clean, renewable energy sources,” said Johanna Neumann, senior director of the Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy for Environment America. “Governor McKee’s signature is another milestone on America’s clean energy journey.”

Rhode Island has abundant renewable energy potential. Wind power alone could power the state eight times over. The Ocean State is also home to America’s first offshore wind farm at Block Island.

H277/S2274 codifies the goals laid out in an executive order then-Gov. Gina Raimondo issued in January 2020 that committed Rhode Island to 100% renewable electricity by the end of the decade. Since the governor signed that executive order, Environment America has worked with in-state advocates to push to codify the goals it laid out into law.

“Rhode Islanders rallied around legislation to power our state on 100% renewable electricity because it puts climate action into practice,” said Kai Salem, Policy Coordinator at Green Energy Consumers Alliance who put together the coalition to pass 100% renewable legislation in Rhode Island. “This is the first step to meeting our emissions reductions mandate of 40% reductions by 2030.”

The states in gold have 100% renewable commitments. Rhode Island will soon be added to the gold list. The states in beige are working on statewide commitments.

Environment America launched its 100% Renewable Campaign in 2018. At the time, only Hawaii had any statewide 100% renewables timeline. Groups in Environment America’s federation played a key role in securing California’s landmark commitment to 100% clean electricity that same year. Before Rhode Island, seven additional states had made 100% clean or renewable electricity commitments. Environment America, state organizations and our partners at the Student PIRGs plan to continue to campaign for 100% renewable energy commitments from college administrations and state governments across the country.

“When we launched our state campaigns for 100% renewable energy, many thought the vision was too big,” said Neumann. “Commitments such as Rhode Island’s are expanding the realm of clean energy possibilities. Now, we need more states to set their sights on 100% clean renewable energy. The sooner we reach 100% renewable energy, the sooner our kids will have cleaner air and a healthier climate.”