DELAWARE

DELAWARE

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.

In the spring of 2020, State Senator Harris McDowell proposed new legislation to renew the Renewable Portfolio Standard. Signed by the Governor John Carney on February, 2021 the legislation raised the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard— which sets requirements for the amount of renewable electricity Delmarva Power must source—to 40% by 2035.  In September, 2021, the governor signed three more environmentally-focused bills:

• to accelerate the adoption of community-based photovoltaic systems in Delaware

• to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles by creating a more accessible charging-station infrastructure

• to make it unlawful to intentionally release balloons filled with air or lighter-than-air-gases.

“These measures — along with the updated Renewable Portfolio Standards signed by the governor in February — mark significant steps forward in Delaware’s energy policies and our stewardship of the natural environment,” said sponsor Senator Stephanie Hansen.

Delaware is one of seven states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast to have record sweltering heat in July, 2020.

Delaware is one of twenty four states, and Puerto Rico, committed to the U.S. Climate Alliance, which is working to implement policies that advance the goals of the Paris Agreement.

CURRENT NEWS

PLANS TO ACCELERATE RENEWABLES

A Tree for Every Delawarean

02/07/22
Trees are natural champions. From our state forests to our city parks, trees improve air and water quality, preserve soil, and support wildlife – and they play a critical role in helping to fight climate…

Delaware-Climate-Action-Plan-2021

02/07/22
The Climate Action Plan team would like to acknowledge the technical contributions of ICF for its greenhouse gas emissions modeling and the stakeholder engagement expertise of Kim Lundgren Associates, Inc.; Planning Communities, LLC; and Hamel…

It’s ‘everyone’s job:’ Delaware offers more details on climate action plan

12/24/21
Gov. John Carney unveiled Delaware’s climate action plan in an announcement along the Delaware River in historic New Castle in early November. “There’s nothing more important than recognizing the threat that climate change poses to…

Governor Carney Releases Plan Outlining Delaware’s Path Forward on Climate Change

11/04/21
Governor John Carney on Thursday released Delaware’s Climate Action Plan surrounded by members of his Cabinet, environmental leaders, and members of the General Assembly. The main goals of the Climate Action Plan are to reduce…

Carney signs three environmental bills

09/22/21
Gov. John Carney on Sept. 17 joined members of the General Assembly and environmental advocates at a Wilmington-based solar array to sign three environmentally-focused bills designed to help expand the use of renewable energy, reduce…

Community Leaders Unveil All-Electric Bus, Ag Pod and Solar + Battery Storage Technology at The Warehouse

06/25/21
Community leaders gathered today at The Warehouse, a service partner of The WRK Group, to welcome three new clean energy technologies as part of the Energize The Warehouse initiative — a collaboration between Delmarva Power,…

Delaware County Passes C-PACE Resolution

06/25/21
Delaware County Council unanimously voted to approve a resolution to implement Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) during its March 17 meeting. Council members approved C-PACE to help owners of commercial property with energy and…

New Castle County to run several buildings on renewables

06/21/21
New Castle County government took a step to reduce the contribution its facilities make to climate change.

Preparing for Climate Change in Delaware

08/30/20
This page provides an overview of the steps the state is taking to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Climate Action in Delaware: 2016 Progress Report

04/11/19
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…

The Climate Framework for Delaware

04/10/19
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…

KEY RESOURCES

Energy State Bill Tracking Database

09/10/21
The searchable Energy Storage Legislation Database displays information in interactive maps and charts, tracking state activity from 2017 to the present.

Environment and Natural Resources State Bill Tracking Database

09/01/21
The National Conference of State Legislatures tracks environment and natural resources bills that have been introduced in the 50 states, territories and Washington, D.C.

The First National Flood Risk Assessment

10/06/20
The First Street Foundation Flood Model represents the culmination of decades of research and development made possible by building upon existing knowledge and frameworks regularly referenced in the identification of flood risk.

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Delaware

09/19/20
In 2018, Delaware experienced one winter storm, the damages of which led to losses of at least $1 billion.

State-by-State: Delaware

07/31/20
Delaware is vulnerable to increasing temperatures, variable rain patterns, rising sea level, ecosystem loss and saltwater intrusion

Choosing Renewables in Delaware

01/24/20
If you're a Delmarva customer, you can choose who they purchase your energy from – including clean, green energy instead of dirty fossil fuel energy.

Renewable Energy

01/24/20
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…

Delaware Solar

01/24/20
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.

Delaware Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards

01/09/20
Delaware’s utilities are required to get an increasing percentage of their electricity from renewable resources. State law mandates that they derive 25% of their energy portfolios from renewable sources by 2025. This has created a…

Delaware State Profile and Energy Estimates

01/08/20
Delaware is located on the eastern side of the Delmarva Peninsula between the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay to the east, Maryland to the west and south, and Pennsylvania and New Jersey to the north.…

MORE NEWS

Delaware Farmers Talk Soil Conservation, Climate Change

By Michael Short  Photo: Michael Short   07/31/21  
“I planted green early (last year) and the slugs ate my breakfast, lunch and dinner,” he said at a July 16 discussion and press event with Sen. Tom Carper to discuss soil conservation practices and the Growing…

Delco plans to take land from Archdiocese to create county’s largest park

By Frank Kummer  Photo: FalconPix   06/17/21  
Delaware County Council moved Wednesday to use eminent domain to take control of 213 mostly forested acres known as the Don Guanella tract owned by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and a private developer and turn…

Adapting to climate change isn’t new for state’s Indigenous peoples

By Chris Flood  Photo: Chris Flood   06/10/21  
According to Lenape Indian Chief Dennis Coker, Delaware’s Native Americans have been dealing with the impacts of environmental changes such as sea level rise for thousands of years. When the grassed plains of the outer…

These Delaware Farmers Are Reclaiming Their Land

By Lisa Dukart  Photo: Kranz Hill Farm   06/08/21  
The 40-acre sweep of land comprising most of Dittmar Family Farms in Felton is almost unrecognizable after several years in the hands of its new owners, husband-and-wife duo Jenny and Zach Dittmar. Where once the…
DPM

Refinery renews plea for reform of biofuel standard as credit prices inflict more financial pain

By Jon Hurdle  Photo: DPM   05/28/21  
The owner of Delaware City Refinery is trying again to get some relief from renewable fuel credits it is required to purchase, and it’s getting support from Delaware’s Congressional delegation and Gov. John Carney

How climate change impacts Delaware agriculture

By Holly Quinn   05/17/21  
Delaware is growing as an agtech state, and there is no agricultural issue that is more pressing than climate change. But what are the issues that ag-focused technologists should be thinking about?
DPM

Coastal marshes help mitigate climate change. So why is this Delaware marsh contributing to it?

By Sophia Schmidt  Photo: Sophia Schmidt, Delaware Public Media   05/07/21  
Coastal wetlands are considered key to mitigating climate change, because their plants absorb carbon from the atmosphere and store it in soil even faster than forests do. But research at a salt marsh near Dover…

More than two years after chemical leak, Delaware Croda plant still making fixes

By Mark Eichmann  Photo: Mark Eichmann   03/08/21  
Croda’s ethylene oxide plant has been out-of-commission since Thanksgiving weekend 2018. That’s when a leak of ethylene oxide wreaked havoc with holiday traffic on the Delaware Memorial Bridge, which sits just a few hundred feet…

Delaware announces regulation to phase-out HFC chemicals

By Nick Ciolino  Photo by Milton Pratt   03/04/21  
Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) recently announced new restrictions on substances called hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, which it says are hundreds of thousands of times more potent than C02 in contributing to…

DNREC publishes planned regulations for phasing in greener refrigerants

By Delaware Business Now   03/03/21  
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced today that new hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) regulations were published March 1 in the state’s Register of Regulations.

New Regulation Requirements Aimed at Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Effective Sept. 1

02/26/21  
Taking aim at greenhouse gases and accelerating the state’s engagement in working to curtail global warming, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced today that a new hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) regulation will be…

Fracking Banned in the Delaware River Basin!

By Marisa Guerrero and Kimberly Ong   02/25/21  
Today marks an important day for public health and environmental protection: fracking is now banned in the Delaware River Basin. 

Delaware to boost renewable energy requirements by 2035

By Mark Eichmann   02/10/21  
Wind, solar, and other renewable sources will make up a bigger chunk of Delaware’s energy supply by 2035. In 2005, the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards Act mandated that Delaware’s energy providers derive 25% of their…

Sierra Club, some House Republicans not happy with 40% renewables mandate

By Delaware Business Now   02/03/21  
Not everyone is happy with recently passed legislation that will boost electricity from renewable energy from the 2025 figure of 25 percent to 40 percent by 2035. State Sen. Stephanie Hansen, D-Middletown, sponsored the bill.

Delaware legislature approves 40% renewable energy goal

By Jacob Owens  Photo by Zbynek Burival   02/02/21  
A bill to push Delaware’s renewable energy mandate up to 40% by 2035 flew through both sides of the state legislature in less than two January weeks, and now awaits the signature of Gov. John…

‘It’s refreshing’: Delaware Sen. Carper applauds Biden’s climate moves

By Mark Eichmann   01/27/21  
For the past four years, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware fought the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back environmental protections as the ranking Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Newark electric customers get a 100% renewable option

By Delaware Business Now   01/27/21  
The Newark City Council has adopted an ordinance that will allow customers to pay a few dollars a month to get 100 percent of their electricity from nonfossil fuel sources.

Renewable Energy Standards bill passes State Senate

By Roman Battaglia  Photo by Sophia Schmidt   01/21/21  
State lawmakers spent a hefty amount of time debating new renewable energy standards Thursday.

Renewable Energy Initiative Benefits, Costs Addressed

By Mark Fowser   01/20/21  
Delaware’s use of renewable energy would significantly increase under legislation introduced in the State Senate. It’s designed to expand the volume of energy generated from renewable sources to 40 percent by 2035.

Lawsuit Launched to Protect Firefly, Bees, Poppy Under Endangered Species Act

Photo by Zach Portman   01/07/21  
The insects are the Bethany Beach firefly, Franklin’s bumblebee, Gulf Coast solitary bee and Mojave poppy bee, a solitary and specialist pollinator that depends on a plant species called the Las Vegas bearpoppy, also named…

Tools for climate change to be discussed

By Delaware State News   01/06/21  
The challenges of climate change in coastal Delaware, as well as solutions and tools to better understand the impacts, will be the focus of the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays’ upcoming Citizens Advisory Committee…

CIB, state climatologist to dive in to local climate-change tools, solutions

01/05/21  
The challenges of climate change in coastal Delaware, as well as solutions and tools to better understand the impacts, will be the focus of the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays’ upcoming Citizens Advisory Committee…

Plastic bag ban begins in Delaware on New Year’s Day

01/01/21  
"The ban is designed to reduce beach and roadside litter, save landfill space, increase recycling efforts and help recycling facilities from having to shut down when plastic bags get stuck in the machinery," officials said.

Solar rebate amounts set to increase Jan. 1

12/26/20  
Delmarva Power customers who are considering a switch to solar power will have more reason to do so when the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Green Energy Fund increases rebate amounts Friday,…

Building a transportation and climate initiative that works for Delaware

By Penny Dryden and Eleanor Fort   12/18/20  
For years, Delawareans have fought to install air quality monitors that produce reliable data to measure where pollution is worst across the state. This valuable air quality data can help communities who are disproportionately impacted…

Green Energy Fund increases rebates for diverse businesses, consumers

By Delaware Business Now   12/17/20  
Each electric utility offering rebates through the Green Energy Program has unique program regulations, requirements, and application forms. The Green Energy Program has provided grant funding to more than 4,300 Delaware renewable energy projects since…

Solar Rebate Amounts to Increase Jan. 1, 2021

12/17/20  
Delmarva Power customers who are considering a switch to solar power will have more reason to do so when the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Green Energy Fund increases rebate amounts Jan.…

Batteries, the power storage revolution

By Jim Lee   12/14/20  
Today’s holy grail of energy research isn’t fusion. It is simply finding a better way to store electricity. Much of the grid-based electricity in the U.S. is stored in water towers. These are a common…

First State joins water regulator’s final approval of controversial LNG plan along Delaware River

By John Hurdle   12/11/20  
The Delaware River Basin Commission Wednesday gave its final approval for a plan to build a dock at Gibbstown, NJ for the export of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Delaware must embrace offshore wind energy projects

By Shelly Cohen   12/10/20  
There is opportunity for Delaware to take advantage of the clean renewable energy provided by ocean-generated winds.  New technology gives us the ability to harness the power of wind to create the renewable, clean energy…
DPM

Citizens engaged in state climate planning favor ambitious emissions reduction goals, renewables

By Sophia Schmidt  Photo by Sophia Schmidt   09/17/20  
Delaware’s greenhouse gas emissions are expected to decrease slightly through 2032 as a result of current state policies and the regional shift from coal to natural gas in electricity production, according to an analysis by…

Delaware Attorney General sues 31 fossil fuel companies over climate change

By Wyatt Patterson  Photo by Izzy DeFrancesco   09/16/20  
On Thursday, Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings announced that the state is suing 31 fossil fuel companies to hold them accountable for their role in accelerating climate change, seeking compensation for the high costs associated…

Delaware’s renewable portfolio growing out of state

By Jacob Owens   09/16/20  
Fifteen years ago, Delaware set out on a path toward a more sustainable future when legislators approved the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards Act (RPS). The law mandated that utilities begin to utilize renewable sources,…

Climate mitigation beyond the pandemic has opportunities, threats

By Alan Horowitz, Michael Vandenbergh & Margaret Badding   09/15/20  
The First State, The Small Wonder … how about the “Lowest-Lying State in the Union”? While we may be focused on the COVID-19 pandemic at hand, our vulnerability to the climate change-driven rising seas and…

Delaware Just Sued 30 Fossil Fuel Companies and the American Petroleum Institute Over Climate ‘Denial and Disinformation’

By Dana Drugmand   09/10/20  
Delaware, the home state of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, announced on Thursday, September 10 that it is taking dozens of major oil and gas companies including BP, Chevron, and ExxonMobil to court over the…

A Delaware port could capture growing wind farm industry

By Katie Tabeling   09/10/20  
With several states committed to more than 8,000 megawatts of offshore wind energy in the next 15 years, Delaware could have a strong wind at its back for a burgeoning industry if an investor builds…

Delaware sues oil companies for lying about their products’ effect on climate change

By Brandon Holveck  Photo by Damian Giletto   09/10/20  
The Delaware attorney general on Tuesday sued 31 fossil fuel companies, including Exxon, Chevron and BP, accusing them of deceiving the public about the role their products play in causing climate change and damaging the…

Democratic Senate primary: Progressive challenger seeks to upset incumbent

By Matt Bittle   08/29/20  
“I think we’re in a moment where people were already clamoring for change … then we layer a pandemic on top of that and people who maybe weren’t in a place where they were onboard…

Urban forestry director on U.S. Council of 1t.org

08/27/20  
The U.S. is home to the first regional chapter of 1t.org. The U.S. chapter is supported by the 1t.org US Stakeholder Council, a bipartisan group of senior-level representatives from government, business, civil society and academia…

Cities With the Highest Flood Risk in Every State

By Andrew Lisa   08/23/20  
Floods accounted for three of the 14 natural disasters that caused at least $1 billion in damage in the United States in 2019. In total, flooding impacted 14 million Americans last year and put another…

Tom Rivett-Carnac: How Can We Shift Our Mindset To Fight Climate Change?

08/21/20  
It's easy to feel powerless against looming challenges we cannot control — like climate change. So what should we do? Political strategist Tom Rivett-Carnac says the power is in our mindset. A version of this…

Virtual Workshops Set for Delaware Climate Action Plan

08/17/20  
The first workshop will examine specific strategies the state can take toward minimizing greenhouse gas emissions, building off initial workshops held in March and a consultant’s technical analysis of greenhouse gas emissions in Delaware. This…

New DRBC Panel to Focus on Sea-Level Rise as Salt Front Threatens Drinking Water

By John Hurdle  Photo by James Loesch   08/13/20  
An expert panel charged with advising the Delaware River Basin’s top water regulator on how to deal with climate change met for the first time in early August with high hopes but apparently little clear…

A new advisory panel on climate change starts work at DRBC

By Hannah Chinn   08/12/20  
“Here in the Delaware River Basin, we have some unique challenges. This basin is prone to droughts and floods. Our main stem river is undammed and open to the ocean, meaning the bay and estuary…

DRPA breaks ground on solar project to power PATCO trains

By Frank Kummer   08/05/20  
The Delaware River Port Authority held a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday for a 22-megawatt solar project. By 2021, solar panels will provide more than half the electricity consumed by PATCO rail operations, officials said.

Delaware and hurricanes: What Tropical Storm Isaias reminds us about coastal risk

By Maddy Lauria   08/03/20  
“We still have three months of prime hurricane season to go, and we’re already on storm No. 9,” said Delaware State Climatologist Daniel Leathers. “It’s going to be in and out in about a 12-hour…

State Sen. McDowell proposes bill to improve state’s renwable energy future

By Tony Gorman   04/23/20  
Newly proposed legislation from State Senator Harris McDowell (D-North Wilmngton) would renew the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard.

Key Renewable Energy Legislation Unveiled In DE

By Daniel Willis   04/22/20  
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.

The Forbes Investigation: How Bloom Energy Blew Through Billions Promising Cheap, Green Tech That Falls Short

By Christopher Helman   02/13/20  
Bloom has never generated a profit, despite at least $1.7 billion of invested capital, some of which was raised on the back of false statements.

Delaware’s legislative baby steps towards a renewable future

01/09/20  
One of the State of Delaware’s major steps toward creating a better environment was passing the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards Act in 2005, which was intended to establish a market in Delaware for electricity from…