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SB 94 Virginia Energy Plan; climate change pressing challenge.

Introduced by: Barbara A. Favola | all patrons    ...    notes | add to my profiles

SUMMARY AS PASSED: (all summaries)

Virginia Energy Plan; Commonwealth Energy Policy. Adopts findings that climate change is an urgent and pressing challenge for Virginia, that swift decarbonization and a transition to clean energy are required to meet the urgency of the challenge, and that the Commonwealth will benefit from being a leader in deploying a low-carbon energy economy. The measure states that the Commonwealth recognizes that the following objectives will advance the health, welfare, and safety of Virginians: (i) establishing sufficient supply and delivery infrastructure to enable widespread deployment of distributed energy resources; (ii) maximizing energy efficiency programs in order to produce electricity cost savings and to create jobs and revenue from the energy efficiency service sector; (iii) establishing greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals across Virginia's economy that reach net-zero emissions by 2045; (iv) requiring that pathways to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions be determined; (v) enabling widespread integration of distributed energy resources into the grid; (vi) mitigating the negative impacts of climate change and the energy transition on disadvantaged communities and prioritizing investment in these communities; (vii) developing the carbon-free energy resources required to fully decarbonize the electric power supply of the Commonwealth including deployment of 30 percent renewables by 2030 and realizing 100 percent carbon-free electric power by 2040; and (viii) ensuring that decision-making is transparent and includes opportunities for full participation by the public. The measure also states that it is the policy of the Commonwealth to (a) ensure the adequate supply of natural gas necessary to ensure the reliability of the electricity supply and the needs of businesses during the transition to renewable energy; (b) establish greenhouse gas emissions reduction standards across all sectors of Virginia's economy that target net-zero emissions carbon by 2045; (c) enact mandatory clean energy standards and overall strategies for reaching net-zero carbon in the electric power sector by 2040; (d) equitably incorporate requirements for technical, policy, and economic analyses and assessments that recognize the unique attributes of different energy resources and delivery systems to identify pathways to net-zero carbon that maximize Virginia's energy reliability and resilience, economic development, and jobs; and (e) minimize the negative impacts of climate change and the energy transition on economically disadvantaged or minority communities and prioritize investment in these areas. The measure also requires that the Virginia Energy Plan identify actions consistent with the goals of achieving a net-zero carbon economy by 2045 and include an inventory of all greenhouse gas emissions for the four years preceding the issuance of the Plan. This bill is identical to HB 714.