With energy policy being driven largely at the state level, the nonprofit Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) last month scored the energy policy of candidates for governor in nine states. These were “open” races, where the incumbent either was not running or, in Illinois, was a weak candidate. In seven of these states—home to 79 million Americans—the pro-solar candidate won.
The policy groundwork laid by AEE during the campaign season, including meetings by its member firms with candidates, may facilitate faster progress on solar and storage by the respective state governments.
Three of the new governors support a higher renewables mandate, two support community solar, four back increased use of storage, and two would allow firms to buy renewable electricity.
During the campaign, Nevada’s governor-elect Steve Sisolak (D) also said “as governor, I’d like to get us on the road to 100 percent” renewable energy, as in this campaign video.
AEE defined certain pro-solar, pro-storage positions in each state, and awarded a candidate a check mark where it deemed the candidate’s views to be consistent with its policy position.
Here are the pro-solar candidates identified by AEE who won, and their solar-related positions (AEE also promoted energy efficiency, electrification of transportation, and other energy goals):
Here are the two races where the candidate with fewer pro-solar positions won:
AEE advocates for “energy efficiency, demand response, energy storage, natural gas electric generation, solar, wind, hydro, nuclear, electric vehicles, biofuels and smart grid,” according to its website.
AEE’s position paper for each state is available online: