Virginia Governor puts state on path to 100% carbon-free power by 2050

FILE PHOTO: Virginia Governor Ralph Northam speaks to gun control activists at a rally held by Moms Demand Action and other family members of shooting victims outside of the Virginia State Capitol Building in Richmond, Virginia, U.S. July 9, 2019. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

(Reuters) - Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed an executive order on Tuesday with a goal of producing all of the state’s electricity from carbon-free sources by 2050 in an effort to reduce the commonwealth’s impact on climate change:

- The order has an interim target of producing 30% of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

- With the order, Virginia joins several other states that have already set 100% clean energy goals, including Hawaii, California, New Mexico, Maine, New York and Washington State, according to Environment America, an environmental group advocating the country produce all of its energy from clean, renewable energy.

- Virginia expects to meet the order’s targets by adding more solar, wind power and energy storage projects and investing in energy efficiency programs.

- In 2017, natural gas fueled 50% of Virginia’s net electricity generation, nuclear power provided 33%, coal fueled almost 12% and renewable resources, including biomass and hydropower, supplied more than 6%, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Marguerita Choy