New report sheds light on Washington use of renewable energy

A new report is shedding light on Washington's place in the country concerning renewable energy -- and despite the progress -- Washington is not at the top.

The gradual shutdown of a coal power plant in Centralia in seven years is among the priorities set out for a renewable energy future in Washington.

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A report released Tuesday by the nonprofit Environment Washington Research & Policy Center highlights the state still has a way to go for renewable energy.

Renewables on the Rise said Washington ranks 14th for wind, 32nd for solar, third for electric vehicles sold and fifth for improvements in electric energy efficient programs.

"This data fits in perfectly with the governor's plan," said John Connolly with Environment Washington. "This data shows that a clean, renewable energy future is easily within grasp."

The report comes a day after Gov. Jay Inslee announced a climate change agenda he's pursuing for when the next legislative session when it starts in Olympia next month.

The governor's plan is working towards 100 percent clean electricity by 2045. It gives a $1,000 tax break for people buying electric vehicles under $45,000. Energy-efficient buildings are promoted and it phases out hydrofluorocarbons, the refrigerator gases far worse than carbon dioxide in warming the atmosphere.

"There's a huge cost by doing nothing and that nothing is too expensive for the State of Washington," Inslee said.

This new report applauds the steps the governor is making but said the state could still do more, while it falls behind states like California, who have aggressively pursued clean energy programs.