Rhode Island jumped ahead in the race for 100 percent renewable energy last week when Gov. Dan McKee signed a bill that would commit the state to meet the goal by 2033, the state’s most aggressive goal yet. Only Oregon comes close and shoots for 2040.
In some ways, Rhode Island has it easy. With a population of just over 1 million people, that’s smaller than many urban areas, so switching to renewable energy isn’t the huge undertaking it would be in California or Texas.
But on the other hand, renewable energy sources tend to need a lot of space, and the state’s population of 1 million is tightly packed — Rhode Island is the second most densely populated state in the country.
While Rhode Island may not have a lot of space, it has plenty of open water blessed with strong and consistent winds, making it an ideal location for offshore wind. That’s why the state’s rapid transition to renewable energy is as much about addressing climate change as it is about securing the state’s economic future.