Delaware is the second smallest and sixth least populous state in the US but also the sixth most densely populated. According to a 2016 report from the EPA, Delaware’s climate is changing. The state has warmed two degrees (F) in the last century, heavy rainstorms are more frequent, and the sea is rising about one inch every seven years. Higher water levels are eroding beaches, submerging low lands, exacerbating coastal flooding, and increasing the salinity of estuaries and aquifers. In the coming decades, changing the climate is likely to increase coastal flooding; harm marine, wetland, and inland ecosystems; disrupt farming; and increase some risks to human health.

In December 2019, Delaware joined a coalition of mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states (PA, NY, NJ, VA, MA, MD, CT, ME, DE, RI, VT and the District of Columbia) in drafting a plan for a multi-state gasoline cap-and-trade program. The plan aims to reduce transportation-related tailpipe emissions, and would levy a tax on fuel companies based on carbon dioxide emissions. The most ambitious version of the plan is projected to reduce the area’s tailpipe emissions by 25% between 2022 and 2032. Transportation is the leading source of planet-warming emissions in 10 of these eleven states. The program could begin as early as 2022.

Delaware has no crude oil or natural gas reserves. Its largest energy supply comes from natural gas, largely transported from Pennsylvania. Delaware began transitioning its electricity generation from coal to natural gas in 2010.

Delaware’s only energy generation is in the renewable energy sector, which, in 2018, was responsible for 2% of the state’s net electricity generation.

State Senator Harris McDowell has proposed new legislation to extend the portfolio standard through 2035, with the intention of gradually increasing renewable energy purchases by 15 percent over the extended period.


The Climate Framework for Delaware

On September 12, 2013, Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed Executive Order 41: “Preparing Delaware for Emerging Climate Impacts and Seizing Economic Opportunities from Reducing Emissions.” Executive Order 41 directs state agencies to address both the…

Climate Action in Delaware: 2016 Progress Report

Climate Action in Delaware: 2016 Progress Report provides an update on the actions and goals outlined in the Climate Framework for Delaware. This report highlights the actions and accomplishments made by Delaware’s state government to…


Delaware Solar

Despite its small size, Delaware continues to increase its solar capacity at a rapid pace. It is not one of the sunnier states, but strong solar policies are driving the industry.

Renewable Energy

Delaware supports the use of renewable energy by homeowners and businesses through grant funding, incentives, and technical guidance. The state partners with utilities to make these programs possible. Delaware’s state law requires that utilities derive…


sierra club

Key Renewable Energy Legislation Unveiled In DE

By Daniel Willis     4/22/20   
State Senator Harris McDowell (District 1) unveiled critical legislation that would seriously increase Delaware’s utilization of renewable energy by expanding the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard and creating a new community solar market.

How offshore wind can benefit Delaware

By Joy Weber     12/13/19   
Offshore wind is a new American industry, so it is natural for Delaware residents to have questions about the Skipjack Wind Farm proposed by my company, Ørsted. I’d like to answer some common questions I receive…