In 2020, Democratic Governor Ralph Northam signed the Virginia Clean Economy Act which set a mandate for 100% clean electricity by 2050. This legislation comes as Virginia has recently seen a sharp increase in both small-scale and large-scale solar photovoltaic capacity. By the middle of 2020, the state had 743 MW of solar capacity, bringing its rank to 16th in the country. Virginia’s hydroelectric power accounts for about 2.5 percent of electricity generation, and the state sees potential in offshore wind in its Atlantic waters. Despite the growth of renewables, natural gas and nuclear still overwhelmingly dominate the electricity sector. In Virginia, Dominion Energy is a monopoly utility and has committed to transitioning to 100 percent clean energy, which is aligned with the Virginia Clean Economy Act. Since 2007, the state has passed a number of laws to provide funding and planning for flood preparedness, coastal protection and adaptation to sea-level rise. With Democratic majorities in both the Virginia House and Senate, further climate legislation is likely in the coming years. Virginia, a member of the US Climate Alliance, joined the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) in 2020, demonstrating its commitment to collaborate with regional players to mitigate emissions.


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