On November 7, 2006, Washington state voters approved ballot initiative 937, setting renewable energy standards for utility companies in the state. The measure requires all utilities serving 25,000 people or more to produce 15 percent of their energy using renewable sources by 2020. Such sources include wind, solar, and tidal power as well as landfill-methane capture. Sources of energy that count toward the standard include water, wind, solar, geothermal, landfill gas, wave, ocean, tidal power, gas from sewage treatment facilities, biodiesel fuel that is not derived from crops raised on land cleared from old growth or first-growth forests, and qualifying biomass resources.




On March 17, 2006, Governor Jim Doyle signed Senate Bill 459, the Energy Efficiency and Renewables Act, which increased the state’s previous renewable portfolio standard. The revised standard requires utilities to produce 10 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2015. Sources of energy that count toward the standard include solar, wind, waterpower, biomass, geothermal technology, tidal or wave action, and fuel cell technology that uses qualified renewable fuels.

Sources: U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy website, available at, and the Pew Climate website, available at

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