The Governor’s Energy Office is starting a planning effort for achieving the use of 100 percent clean energy in Maine by 2040. The “Maine Energy Plan: Pathway to 2040” will engage the public and key energy stakeholders on actionable and affordable strategies to meet this target, such as through diversifying energy sources in Maine, stabilizing electricity rates, reducing emissions, and supporting jobs and economic investment.
This process stems from direction by Governor Janet Mills, who called for accelerating Maine’s trajectory to using 100 percent clean electricity to 2040 in her State of the Budget Address earlier this year, in response to burden on Maine people and businesses from high fossil fuel prices caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The “Maine Energy Plan: Pathway to 2040” process intends to align with goals of the state’s climate action plan, Maine Won’t Wait, and build upon recent state energy analyses centering on distributed generation, energy storage, offshore wind, renewable energy markets, and strengthening Maine’s clean energy economy. The GEO has also retained The Brattle Group and Evolved Energy Research to conduct a modeling and technical analyses to inform this planning process. The GEO intends to deliver a recommended pathway to the Governor by early 2024.
- Developing a new, comprehensive, integrated energy plan consistent with Maine law to meet the Governor’s 100% clean electricity by 2040 directive and identify economy-wide decarbonization options looking beyond 2040.
- Informing planning for future investment opportunities, including pursuit and deployment of federal and other funds, by entities within the state, in order to continue to ensure Maine is able to capitalize on such opportunities.
- Ensuring sufficient planning and policies are in place to ensure Maine households and businesses have access to clean, affordable, and reliable energy over the coming decades.
- Creating a plan that meets the needs of Maine people and businesses including reducing reliance on fossil fuels and decreasing energy volatility and cost burdens. This includes supporting historically disadvantaged and low-income communities across Maine.
- Buillding upon recent energy studies and analysis, including the statutorily directed GEO energy plan, the energy and demand analysis from the Maine Climate Council, and in-depth analyses GEO has conducted
In 2019, Governor Mills signed bipartisan legislation that set a requirement for Maine to use 80 percent renewable energy by 2030, and a target of 100 percent by 2050. This year, Maine will cross the threshold of using more than 50 percent of its electricity from renewable sources.
However, with nearly 60 percent of homes in Maine reliant on heating oil and kerosene for heating, and the New England electricity grid over-reliant on imported natural gas to generate electricity, Maine remains distinctly vulnerable to price shocks from volatile global energy markets, like those that have occurred in 2022.
Accelerating Maine’s usage of 100 percent clean energy to 2040 would support critical energy needs and opportunities for Maine’s, including:
- Diversifying sources of energy available to Maine people and reducing reliance on electricity generated by fossil fuels, primarily natural gas;
- Maximizing opportunities for regional coordination as well as clean energy and grid infrastructure investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act;
- Advancing Governor Mills’ goal of more than doubling clean energy and energy efficiency jobs in Maine to 30,000 by 2030.