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Clean energy technologies have begun to transform the national economy. Growth in this sector is expected to be as high as four-fold, generating more than $2 trillion per year by 2020. Washington State has historically been a leader in the field by pursuing low-carbon energy policies, such as renewable portfolio standards and green building codes. But as competition increases, Washington needs to continue to improve to stay on top.

Increasing investment in distributed generation, energy efficiency, and conservation has been identified as the future for Washington State by the Legislature, two Governors (both Gregoire and Inslee), the Washington Department of Commerce, the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, and the people themselves (in passing I-937, the Energy Independence Act).

To this chorus of supporting voices, we add our own. Investments in clean energy technologies promotes energy independence, creates clean tech jobs, safeguards our natural resources, reduces greenhouse gas emissions,

protects against environmental degradation, and maintains low energy costs throughout the state. Consequently, the State should consider all manner of policies to support these investments. We have identified several policy and technical barriers to developing Washington State’s clean energy economy. The following is a series of recommendations on eight policy areas that are critical to this issue:

  1. Distributed generation
  2. Energy efficient buildings
  3. Cogeneration
  4. Increasing affordability
  5. Net Metering
  6. Plug-in electric vehicles
  7. Amendments to the EIA
  8. Decoupling

Publication Date



University of Washington Technology Law and Public Policy Clinic




Energy and Utilities Law

Growing Washington's Clean Energy Economy: A Report to the Washington State Legislature