Maine Works Towards Using 100% Renewable Energy by 2050
It's no secret that Governor Janet Mills prioritizes Maine's involvement in clean energy initiatives highly. In late February, she announced Maine's goal to fully transition to using renewable energy by the year 2050, according to USM Free Press. Maine has joined the United States Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of 21 states committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, Governor Mills initiated the Maine Climate Council in charge of creating a game plan and deadline.
"Maine was already producing 70 percent of its electricity from so-called renewable energy," Dr. Daniel Martinez said.
Maine's plans line up with the initiatives of the Paris Agreement and the Green New Deal proposed by New York Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Neither plan passed in the U.S. Senate, but Maine is forging on in prioritizing environmental research by reallocating funding from fossil fuels to researching wind, solar, and geothermal energy sources.
Dr. Daniel Martinez, an associate research professor at USM, says that Maine is better equipped to transition to 100% renewable energy than most states, but the solution isn't without its complications.
"According to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 2014, Maine was already producing 70 percent of its electricity from so-called renewable energy: 31 percent from Hydropower, 11 percent from wind and 29 percent from biomass," Martinez said. "...a good chunk of our electricity gets sold to other states in the network. So, can we get to a net 100% renewable scenario for electricity by 2050? Probably, because it is only 30 percent away, but only if we are still consuming energy the same way we do in 2020.”