Job gains. Declining electricity rates. Magnet for economic development.
From east to west, a growing number of states are embracing the promise of a low-carbon economy, both by setting ambitious renewable energy goals and expanding programs that encourage energy efficiency. In the states of California, Colorado, Hawaii and Minnesota, the largest utilities are sourcing 20 to 35 percent of their electricity from carbon-free wind, solar and other renewable sources. Consumers are also saving billions of dollars on their energy bills because these programs are helping to trim electricity demand by as much as 1.5 percent every year.
This is obviously good news for reducing the carbon pollution that is causing climate change.
But there's another big plus stemming from state-driven efforts: tailwinds for their economies through good-paying jobs, stable energy costs and attracting new businesses.