Washington ranks high in clean energy, toward the bottom with solar power
YAKIMA, Wash. - Governor Jay Inslee recently said he wants the state of Washington to have 100 percent clean energy by the year 2045.
A new study said Washington is already making progress toward that goal compared to the rest of the country.
The state ranks third in electronic vehicles sold, fifth in energy efficient programs and 14th in wind power.
Yakima and Ellensburg recently made efforts to increase electric car use by adding the first fast-charging stations.
“That's the biggest source of air, water pollution, climate emissions here in Washington. So, making sure that we take big steps to electrify transportation and address emissions from that sector too,” Bruce Speight with Environment Washington Research and Policy Center said.
But the biggest room to grow for the state is in solar power with Washington ranked as 32nd in the country.
And with Yakima being the Palm Springs of Washington, the valley could see the biggest growth in the solar industry.
Yakima's city council recently approved a partnership with Spark Northwest to try to increase the number of business owners who use solar panels.
Owners like Neil McClure. Who already has panels on his warehouse and his home in Yakima.
“It's a smaller carbon footprint. I've got two wonderful grandchildren. I'm not going to have to worry about how the future turns out in 30 to 40 years but my grandchildren will,” he said.
He said he only pays around $18 a month in electric bills for both properties.
“It's nice when you see a $350 electric bill disappear,” McClure said.
Kittitas County has made progress with solar after the Columbia Solar Project was approved by the governor.
Speight said Kittitas and Yakima County should be the perfect place for solar to thrive.
“Where we have 300 days or sunshine. We should be taking advantage of that and tapping into that energy,” he said.
Washington is near the top with clean energy, but the state is still far away from being 100 percent clean.