|Introduced in House||Passed House||Introduced in Senate||Passed Senate||Became Law|
Virginia Energy Plan; climate change pressing challenge.
Adopts findings that climate change is an urgent and pressing challenge for Virginia, that swift decarbonization and a transition to clean energy are required to meet the urgency of the challenge, and that the Commonwealth will benefit from being a leader in deploying a low-carbon energy economy. The measure states that the Commonwealth recognizes that the following objectives will advance the health, welfare, and safety of Virginians: (i) establishing sufficient supply and delivery infrastructure to enable widespread deployment of distributed energy resources; (ii) maximizing energy efficiency programs in order to produce electricity cost savings and to create jobs and revenue from the energy efficiency service sector; (iii) establishing greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals across Virginia's economy that reach net-zero emissions by 2050; (iv) requiring that pathways to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions be determined; (v) enabling widespread integration of storage technologies into the grid and pairing such storage technologies with renewable generation; (vi) mitigating the negative impacts of climate change and the energy transition on disadvantaged communities and prioritizing investment in these communities; (vii) developing the carbon-free energy resources required to fully decarbonize the electric power supply of the Commonwealth including deployment of 30 percent renewables by 2030 and realizing 100 percent carbon-free electric power by 2040; and (viii) ensuring that decision-making is transparent and includes opportunities for full participation by the public. The measure also states that it is the policy of the Commonwealth to (a) accelerate the use and deployment of renewable energy sources such that 30 percent of Virginia's electricity will be from renewable energy sources by 2030 and 100 percent of Virginia's electricity will be from carbon-free sources by 2040; (b) promote research and development of carbon-free electric power generation technologies, including advanced nuclear and carbon capture and storage; (c) ensure the availability of affordable natural gas where established and where it enables greenhouse gas reduction; (d) promote beneficial electrification of transportation, buildings, industry, and agriculture; (e) establish greenhouse gas emissions reduction standards across all sectors of Virginia's economy that target net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century; (f) enact mandatory clean energy standards and overall strategies for reaching zero carbon in the electric power sector by 2040; (g) incorporate requirements for technical, policy, and economic analyses and assessments that identify pathways to zero carbon that maximize Virginia's economic development and create quality jobs; (h) minimize the negative impacts of climate change and the energy transition on disadvantaged communities and prioritize investment in these areas; (i) adopt residential and commercial building codes that meet or exceed the current International Building Code standards and encourage construction and retrofitting of buildings to achieve maximum energy savings; and (j) support the distributed generation of renewable electricity. The measure also requires that the Virginia Energy Plan identify actions consistent with the goals of achieving a net-zero carbon economy by 2050 and include an inventory of all greenhouse gas emissions for the four years preceding the issuance of the Plan.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
� 67-100. Legislative findings.
The General Assembly hereby finds that:
1. Energy is essential to the health, safety, and welfare of the people of this Commonwealth and to the Commonwealths economy;
2. The state government should facilitate the availability and
delivery of reliable and adequate supplies of energy to industrial, commercial,
and residential users at reasonable costs such that these users and the
Commonwealths economy are able to be productive;
3. The Commonwealth would benefit from articulating clear objectives pertaining to energy issues, adopting an energy policy that advances these objectives, and establishing a procedure for measuring the implementation of these policies;
4. Climate change is an urgent and pressing challenge for Virginia. Swift decarbonization and a transition to clean energy are required to meet the urgency of the challenge; and
5. The Commonwealth will benefit from being a leader in deploying a low-carbon energy economy.
� 67-101. Energy objectives.
The Commonwealth recognizes each of the following objectives pertaining to energy issues will advance the health, welfare, and safety of the residents of the Commonwealth:
1. Ensuring an adequate energy supply and a Virginia-based energy production capacity;
2. Minimizing the Commonwealths long-term exposure to volatility and increases in world energy prices through greater energy independence;
3. Ensuring the availability of reliable energy at costs that are reasonable and in quantities that will support the Commonwealths economy;
4. Managing the rate of consumption of existing energy resources in relation to economic growth;
5. Establishing sufficient supply and delivery infrastructure to enable widespread deployment of distributed energy resources and to maintain reliable energy availability in the event of a disruption occurring to a portion of the Commonwealths energy matrix;
Using energy resources more efficiently
Maximizing energy efficiency programs, which are the lowest-cost energy option
to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in order to produce electricity cost
savings and to create jobs and economic opportunity from the energy efficiency
7. Facilitating conservation;
8. Optimizing intrastate and interstate use of energy supply and delivery to maximize energy availability, reliability, and price opportunities to the benefit of all user classes and the Commonwealths economy as stated in subdivision 2 of � 67-100;
9. Increasing Virginias reliance on sources of energy that, compared to traditional energy resources, are less polluting of the Commonwealths air and waters;
Researching the efficacy, cost, and benefits of
reducing, avoiding, or sequestering the emissions of greenhouse gases produced
in connection with the generation of energy Establishing greenhouse gas
emissions reduction goals across Virginias economy sufficient to reach
net-zero emissions by 2050, including the electric power, transportation,
industrial, agricultural, building, and infrastructure sectors;
11. Requiring that pathways to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions be determined based on technical, policy, and economic analysis to maximize their effectiveness, optimize Virginias economic development, and create quality jobs while minimizing adverse impacts on public health, affected communities, and the environment;
12. Developing energy resources necessary to produce 30 percent of Virginias electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030 and 100 percent of Virginias electricity from carbon-free sources by 2040;
13. Enabling widespread integration of distributed energy resources into the grid, including storage and carbon-free generation such as rooftop solar installations as defined in � 56-576;
14. Removing impediments to the use of
low-cost carbon-free energy resources located within and outside the
Commonwealth and ensuring the economic viability of the producers,
especially those in the Commonwealth, of such, including distributed
renewable energy generation resources, nuclear power plants, and
generation resources that employ carbon capture and sequestration; 12. Developing energy resources and facilities in a manner
that does not impose a disproportionate adverse impact on economically
disadvantaged or minority communities; 13. Recognizing the need to foster those economically
developable alternative sources of energy that can be provided at market prices
as vital components of a diversified portfolio of energy resources; and 14. 15. Mitigating the negative impacts of climate
change and the energy transition on disadvantaged communities and prioritizing
investment in these communities;
16. Developing the carbon-free energy resources required to fully decarbonize the electric power supply of the Commonwealth, including deployment of 30 percent renewables by 2030 and realizing 100 percent carbon-free electric power by 2040;
17. Increasing Virginias reliance on and production of sustainably produced biofuels made from traditional agricultural crops and other feedstocks, such as winter cover crops, warm season grasses, fast-growing trees, algae or other suitable feedstocks grown in the Commonwealth that will create jobs and income, produce clean-burning fuels that will help to improve air quality, and provide the new markets for Virginias silvicultural and agricultural products needed to preserve farm employment, conserve farmland and forestland, and increase implementation of silvicultural and agricultural best management practices to protect water quality; and
18. Ensuring that decision making is transparent and includes opportunities for full participation by the public.
Except as provided in subsection D of � 56-585.1, nothing in this section shall be deemed to abrogate or modify in any way the provisions of the Virginia Electric Utility Regulation Act (� 56-576 et seq.).
� 67-102. Commonwealth Energy Policy.
A. To achieve the objectives enumerated in � 67-101, it shall be the policy of the Commonwealth to:
1. Support research and development of, and promote the use of, renewable energy sources;
2. Ensure that the combination of energy supplies and energy-saving systems are sufficient to support the demands of economic growth;
Promote research and development of clean coal
technologies, including but not limited to integrated gasification combined
cycle systems; 4. Promote cost-effective conservation of energy and
fuel supplies; 5. Ensure the availability of affordable natural gas
throughout the Commonwealth by expanding Virginias natural gas distribution
and transmission pipeline infrastructure; developing coalbed methane gas
resources and methane hydrate resources; encouraging the productive use of
landfill gas; and siting one or more liquefied natural gas terminals;
4. Ensure the adequate supply of natural gas necessary to ensure the reliability of the electricity supply and the needs of businesses during the transition to renewable energy.
6. 5. Promote the generation of electricity
through technologies that do not contribute to greenhouse gases and global
warming; 7. Facilitate the development of new, and the expansion of
existing, petroleum refining facilities within the Commonwealth; 8. 6. Promote the use of motor vehicles that
utilize alternate fuels and are highly energy efficient; 9. 7. Support efforts to reduce the demand for
imported petroleum by developing alternative technologies, including but not
limited to the production of synthetic and hydrogen-based fuels, and the
infrastructure required for the widespread implementation of such technologies; 10. Promote the sustainable production and use of biofuels
produced from silvicultural and agricultural crops grown in the Commonwealth,
and support the delivery infrastructure needed for statewide distribution to
consumers; 11. 8. Ensure that development of new, or
expansion of existing, energy resources or facilities does not have a
disproportionate adverse impact on economically disadvantaged or minority
communities; and 12. Ensure that energy generation and delivery systems that
may be approved for development in the Commonwealth, including liquefied
natural gas and related delivery and storage systems, should be located so as
to minimize impacts to pristine natural areas and other significant onshore
natural resources, and as near to compatible development as possible
9. Establish greenhouse gas emissions reduction standards across all sectors of Virginias economy that target net-zero emissions carbon by 2045;
10. Enact mandatory clean energy standards and overall strategies for reaching net-zero carbon in the electric power sector by 2040;
11. Equitably incorporate requirements for technical, policy, and economic analyses and assessments that recognize the unique attributes of different energy resources and delivery systems to identify pathways to net-zero carbon that maximize Virginias energy reliability and resilience, economic development, and jobs; and
12. Minimize the negative impacts of climate change and the energy transition on economically disadvantaged or minority communities and prioritize investment in these areas.
B. The elements of the policy set forth in subsection A shall be referred to collectively in this title as the Commonwealth Energy Policy.
C. All agencies and political subdivisions of the Commonwealth, in taking discretionary action with regard to energy issues, shall recognize the elements of the Commonwealth Energy Policy and where appropriate, shall act in a manner consistent therewith.
D. The Commonwealth Energy Policy is intended to provide guidance to the agencies and political subdivisions of the Commonwealth in taking discretionary action with regard to energy issues, and shall not be construed to amend, repeal, or override any contrary provision of applicable law. The failure or refusal of any person to recognize the elements of the Commonwealth Energy Policy, to act in a manner consistent with the Commonwealth Energy Policy, or to take any other action whatsoever, shall not create any right, action, or cause of action or provide standing for any person to challenge the action of the Commonwealth or any of its agencies or political subdivisions.
� 67-201. Development of the Virginia Energy Plan.
A. The Division, in consultation with the State Corporation
Commission, the Department of Environmental Quality,
and the Center
for Coal and Energy Research Clean Energy Advisory Board, solar,
wind, and energy efficiency sectors, and a stakeholder group that shall include
representatives of consumer, environmental, manufacturing, and agricultural
organizations and electric utilities, shall prepare a comprehensive
Virginia Energy Plan covering (the Plan) that identifies actions over
a 10-year period consistent with the goal of the Commonwealth Energy Policy
set forth in � 67-102 to achieve, no later than 2045, a net-zero carbon energy
economy for all sectors, including electricity, transportation, building,
agricultural, and industrial sectors. The Plan shall propose actions,
consistent with the objectives enumerated in � 67-101, that will implement the
Commonwealth Energy Policy set forth in � 67-102.
B. In addition, the Plan shall include:
1. Projections of energy consumption in the Commonwealth,
but not limited to the use of fuel sources and costs of
electricity, natural gas, gasoline, coal, renewable resources, and other forms
of non-greenhouse-gas-generating energy resources, such as nuclear
power, used in the Commonwealth;
2. An analysis of the adequacy of electricity generation, transmission, and distribution resources in the Commonwealth for the natural gas and electric industries, and how distributed energy resources and regional generation, transmission, and distribution resources affect the Commonwealth;
3. An analysis of siting requirements for electric generation resources and natural gas and electric transmission and distribution resources, including an assessment of state and local impediments to expanded use of distributed resources and recommendations to reduce or eliminate these impediments;
4. An analysis of fuel diversity for electricity generation, recognizing the importance of flexibility in meeting future capacity needs;
5. An analysis of the efficient use of energy resources and conservation initiatives;
6. An analysis of how these Virginia-specific issues relate to regional initiatives to assure the adequacy of fuel production, generation, transmission, and distribution assets;
7. An analysis of siting of energy resource development, refining or transmission facilities to identify any disproportionate adverse impact of such activities on economically disadvantaged or minority communities;
8. With regard to any regulations proposed or promulgated by
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce carbon dioxide emissions
from fossil fuel-fired electric generating units under � 111(d) of the Clean
Air Act, 42 U.S.C. � 7411 (d), an analysis of (i) the costs to and benefits for
energy producers and electric utility customers; (ii) the effect on energy
markets and reliability; and (iii) the commercial availability of technology
required to comply with such regulations;
9. An inventory of greenhouse gas emissions using a method determined by the Department of Environmental Quality for the four years prior to the issuance of the Plan; and
10. Recommendations, based on the analyses completed
under subdivisions 1 through
8 9, for legislative, regulatory,
and other public and private actions to implement the elements of the
Commonwealth Energy Policy.
C. In preparing the Plan, the Division and other agencies
involved in the planning process shall utilize state geographic information
systems, to the extent deemed practicable, to assess how recommendations in the
plan Plan may affect pristine natural areas and other significant
onshore natural resources. Effective October 1, 2024, interim updates on the
Plan shall also contain projections for greenhouse gas emissions that would
result from implementation of the Plans recommendations.
D. In preparing the Plan, the Division and other agencies involved in the planning process shall develop a system for ascribing numerical scores to parcels of real property based on the extent to which the parcels are suitable for the siting of a wind energy facility or solar energy facility. For wind energy facilities, the scoring system shall address the wind velocity, sustained velocity, turbulence, proximity to electric power transmission systems, potential impacts to natural and historic resources and to economically disadvantaged or minority communities, and compatibility with the local land use plan. For solar energy facilities, the scoring system shall address the parcels proximity to electric power transmission lines, potential impacts of such a facility to natural and historic resources and to economically disadvantaged or minority communities, and compatibility with the local land use plan. The system developed pursuant to this section shall allow the suitability of the parcel for the siting of a wind energy facility or solar energy facility to be compared to the suitability of other parcels so scored, and shall be based on a scale that allows the suitability of the parcel for the siting of a such an energy facility to be measured against the hypothetical score of an ideal location for such a facility.
E. After July 1, 2007, upon receipt by the Division of a recommendation from the Department of General Services, a local governing body, or the parcels owner that a parcel of real property is a potentially suitable location for a wind energy facility or solar energy facility, the Division shall analyze the suitability of the parcel for the location of such a facility. In conducting its analysis, the Division shall ascribe a numerical score to the parcel using the scoring system developed pursuant to subsection D.
|01/16/2020||House||House: Assigned L & C sub: Subcommittee #3|
|01/15/2020||House||House: Referred to Committee on Labor and Commerce|
|01/06/2020||House||House: Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/20 20104864D|
|01/06/2020||House||House: Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources|