Renewable clean energy.
Change is never easy. Putting aside the issue of climate change for a moment, it’s hard for the casual observer to ignore the fact that the Earth has a finite amount of resources. It always has.
The need for water, fuel and raw materials is outstripping the planet’s ability to provide. We are experiencing changes, whether we like it or not, on many fronts. Cities are experiencing increased brownouts. Rivers used for commerce are at historic lows. Even fossil fuels have their limitations – the black gold created by Carboniferous Period plankton and plants some 300 million years ago will eventually dry up.
In Washington State, our leaders and businesses learned early on that there is a limit to what you can take from the land without giving back. In its early history, large tracks of virgin forests were felled in the belief that the supply of timber was virtually unlimited. It wasn’t.
Weyerhaeuser came to the rescue in the 1940s, pioneering the idea of tree farms – managing trees as a crop. Today, the company plants more than 130 million seedlings annually to ensure that forest lands will be here for generations to come.
Industrial energy rates are 38.1% lower than the U.S. average*
Commercial rates are 17% less than the national average*
Residential energy rates are nearly 20% less than the U.S. average*
Reimagining the future
Other Washington companies have embarked on similar journeys, finding exciting ways to reduce our carbon footprint or find sustainable ways to address a finite supply of natural resources. Many of these advances have become mainstream over the years, while others have the potential to change the future.
These initiatives support the state’s ambitious and historic goal to become 100% reliant on non-carbon-emitting energy by 2045.
This shift will require innovative partnerships between the private and public sectors to aggressively test and adopt new ideas while removing roadblocks that often stand in the way of progress. New investments in electric power generation and transmission that doesn’t rely on legacy fuel sources, electric heat pumps for homes and businesses, and a new generation of cars, trucks, aircraft and marine vessels that run on hydrogen, electricity and biofuels.
These efforts will be joined by new approaches to reducing industrial and production waste, lowering the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere and creating local and regional circular economies that turn waste into new products. To further spur innovation, Washington incentivizes many of these strategies through sales and use tax exemptions.
One of the most exciting aspects of this undertaking is that we can ensure that future energy production is not only clean but inclusive. A seismic change in the way we think about, produce and manage power will provide new opportunities to communities across the state and for residents to earn a living wage in a growing industry.
Emerging opportunities in Washington
Sustainable aviation fuel. Several new facilities are working on methods to make sustainable aviation fuel at scale. To support the growth of SAF production, the state legislature created a tax incentive that provides subsidies of up to $2 per gallon of SAF to make it more competitive with regular jet fuel. The legislation and another bill that streamlined permitting and environmental reviews for plant construction make Washington a leader in this growing industry.
Electric aircraft. The electrification of commuter and corporate aircraft is another exciting opportunity. Building on the state’s century-long domination of U.S. aerospace, new players are coming to market, such as Eviation. Their all-electric Alice is built from the ground up to fill the need for short-range, non-polluting aircraft that can serve passenger and cargo routes of up to 250 miles. Alice uses another Washington innovation, magniX’s magni650 electric motors, to power the aircraft.
Vessel electrification. Washington’s economy is deeply rooted in its maritime industry. From its world-class ports and shipyards to fishing fleets and cruise lines, leading companies are exploring new ways to adopt technologies that will decarbonize marine traffic. This includes electrifying the state’s fleet of ferries, which serve as a marine highway. When the entire fleet is converted, carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced by 76% and nitrous oxide emissions by 94%.
Farming. Agriculture contributes more than 669.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents in the U.S., mainly in the form of nitrous oxide and methane. Washington companies are working on reducing the state’s contribution on several fronts. Using water instead of fossil fuel to manufacture fertilizer is one promising option. Other companies are using zero or low-carbon technologies to turn unsellable and discarded food waste into renewable natural gas, feedstock and fertilizer.
Power production. A move away from fossil fuels requires new ideas in power production. Solar, biomass, wind and tidal energy systems are already part of the state’s clean energy portfolio. Increased battery production and grid management technologies are also on the horizon.
Hydrogen. Washington is part of a consortium of states awarded a Hydrogen Hub by the U.S. Department of Energy. This infusion of up to $1 billion in capital will fund a range of programs and projects across the state to harness the potential of hydrogen as a clean, sustainable and regenerative energy source for vehicles, aircraft and marine vessels.
Washington has been and always will be a change agent. Nearly every aspect of our daily lives has benefitted from the innovations that have come out of Washington State, and no doubt, clean energy is the next frontier to challenge and conquer.
For businesses that want to be part of this bright future, we welcome you. You’ll find plenty of great partners who share a similar vision and can collaborate with you to explore new technologies, products, processes and markets for sustainable, clean energy.
Choose Washington for all your renewable energy needs.
YouNeed more information? Our team of business experts will be happy to share more reasons why Washington State should be at the top of your list for future-forward power.
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