GEORGIA

GEORGIA

Georgia is a state sprawling over 57 thousand square miles, 24th largest in the US, and half of that space is covered by pine trees; the state has the most commercial forestland in the country. With a quarter of California’s population, 10.6 million people call the Peach State home, making it the 8th largest in the US. In addition to peaches, Georgia is also a top producer of peanuts, pecans, and Vidalia onions.

Sea level rise poses an urgent threat to Georgia’s economy and environment, where seas are rising more rapidly because Georgia is subsiding. Mid-Atlantic states sit on a bulge, caused by an ice sheet during the last Ice Age, which is continuing to settle downwards. As a result, the sea level rise in this region is accelerating at twice the global average. More severe storms, a well-known result of climate change, are also a particularly concerning effect in Georgia, a state often in the path of hurricanes and tropical storms.

The increasing temperatures add to the threat Georgia’s economy faces, as warmer weather will reduce crop yield and human productivity in sectors like farming, construction, and utilities. Additionally, Georgia’s healthcare system ranks 46th in the country, with an infrastructure lacking to deal with the adverse health effects of extreme heat.
Two nuclear reactors are under construction in Georgia, the first to be approved by the US Nuclear Registration in 30 years, which have planned startup dates for 2021 and 2022. Currently, nuclear power comprises a sizeable portion of Georgia’s energy generation, outranking coal but falling short of natural gas. Renewable energy, however, makes up less than 8% of Georgia’s energy generation, about half of which comes from biomass.

Historically, state policies have been hostile to solar expansion and the state legislature has pushed back on creating incentives to lower the cost of solar energy. However, since 2013, when the PSC, led by Lauren “Bubba” McDonald, Jr., required Georgia Power to install hundreds of megawatts of solar farms, solar has become 2% of Georgia’s energy. And, in 2015, the state, joining with more than two-dozen other states, passed policies allowing third parties to finance limited-sized solar systems. Its Solar Power Free-Market Financing Act allowed homes and businesses to host solar panels installed and operated by a solar provider. As a result, Georgia has become #9 in the country for installed solar capacity.

While Georgia as a state has not committed to the Paris Climate Agreement or adopted a climate adaptation plan, Atlanta, Georgia’s largest city, has stepped up. In Atlanta, city-owned buildings will use only renewable energy by 2025 and the entire city will move to renewables by 2035. Polls show that Georgians tend to support the efforts being led by Atlanta; 75% support regulating CO2 as a pollutant and 82% support funding more research into renewable energy.

The Rising Sea: Climate Change in Georgia | Georgia Outdoors

CURRENT NEWS

PLANS TO ACCELERATE RENEWABLES

How Georgia Power helps grow Atlanta’s data center industry

03/31/22
As Georgia Power converts more of its grid to renewable sources, the state becomes more attractive to data centers.

Another 70-MW solar project will support Facebook company Meta

03/28/22
The Tennessee Valley Authority, Meta (formerly Facebook), Jackson Energy Authority (JEA) and Silicon Ranch broke ground on a 70-MWAC solar facility in Madison County, Tennessee. The McKellar Solar Farm will support Meta’s regional operations with…

Sustainability planners at ATL draft plan for 100% renewable energy by 2035

03/22/22
Jeff Denno and Polly Sattler are proud of the recently opened ATL West parking garage at the airport. With fully programmable LED lighting, parking space detection, and dozens of electric vehicle charging stations, ATL West…

QTS Signs Agreement with Georgia Power That Adds Nearly 350 Megawatts of New Renewable Energy to the Power Grid in Atlanta

03/17/22
The agreement is part of Georgia Power's Customer Renewable Supply Procurement (CRSP) tariff. Through CRSP, energy from up to 1,000 megawatts of renewable resources will be available for subscription by new and existing commercial and…

Georgia Legislators Face Big Clean Energy and Transportation Opportunities

03/17/22
The five policies listed below are of particular significance for Georgia’s transition to clean energy and its role in addressing the climate crisis. The fate of these bills for this year will be decided in…

Silicon Ranch Selects Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives to Construct 70 MW Regenerative Solar Project in Georgia

03/16/22
Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives, Inc. (NASDAQ: IEA) (“IEA” or the “Company”), a leading infrastructure company with renewable energy and specialty civil expertise, today announced it has been awarded a contract by Silicon Ranch Corporation to…

Plug Power taps ABB for $300M hydrogen plants

03/10/22
The big picture: The first of the company's two new plants, "Project Gateway," will be North America's largest production facility for so-called green hydrogen. Located in Gennessee County in Upstate New York, it is set…

State Senate committee OKs bond financing option for Plant Vogtle project

03/08/22
Senate Bill 421 would authorize Georgia Power to pursue securitized bond financing to recover some of the costs of the Vogtle project as well as what the Atlanta-based utility is spending to retire its fleet…

Form Energy announces partnership with Georgia Power to test 100-hour iron-air battery

02/10/22
Georgia Power will collaborate with Massachusetts-based startup Form Energy to deploy an energy storage project of up to 15 MW/1500 MWh using a novel iron-air-exchange flow battery technology, the companies said Wednesday.

Georgia Power seeks nod for 2.3 GW more renewables in 2022

02/02/22
The proposal is included in the company’s 2022 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which was submitted with the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) on Monday, Georgia Power said. The IRP, filed every three years, outlines steps…

Georgia Power plans to double renewables, ditch all coal

02/01/22
The moves, which reflect the electric company’s continued transition to cleaner fuel sources, would help Southern achieve a net-zero carbon goal by 2050 for electricity. Other steps at Georgia Power include extending the life of…

Athens navigates 2035 renewable energy goals

By Jake Drukman Photo: Sophia Haynes 04/15/21
For Michael Songster, an Athens home builder, sustainability is more than just an interest. It’s about combating climate change, securing the future for his family and protecting the outdoor world he loves.

Preparing for Climate Change in Georgia

04/16/20
Georgia has not developed a statewide adaptation plan. Other resources from the Adaptation Clearinghouse, which have been developed by the state and localities to help communities prepare for climate change, are highlighted below.

KEY RESOURCES

Georgia Solar Panels: Pricing and Incentives

02/11/22
You might be surprised to learn that Georgia is a leader in solar energy. The state ranks 9th in the nation for solar energy generation and receives about 3.49 percent of its electricity from solar…

Georgia State Profile and Energy Estimates

09/24/21
Georgia is located at the southern end of the Blue Ridge Mountains and has the largest land area of any state east of the Mississippi River. Elevations in the state increase from sea level along…

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 Georgia

09/19/20
Between 2017 and 2019, Georgia experienced four tropical cyclones, six severe storms, one winter storm, and one freeze. The damages of each event led to losses of at least $1 billion.

State-by-State: Climate Change in Georgia

07/31/20
Georgia is vulnerable to sea level rise, flooding, coastal storms and increasing temperatures which threaten the state’s agriculture and energy industries as well as human health

GIS for Climate Change Analysis, Planning, and Action

04/16/20
In the coming decades the state of Georgia will face larger and larger challenges due to climate change. With continuing business-as-usual greenhouse gas emissions, by 2100 the average temperature across the state will increase by…

Georgia Climate

04/16/20
The Georgia Initiative for Climate and Society brings together expertise from disciplines throughout the University of Georgia to share research on how our state will be affected by climate change.

Georgia Climate Conference explores what’s at stake for state

04/16/20
To stimulate conversation and share innovative solutions, the conference engaged experts and leaders from a sweeping range of perspectives. That included elected officials from both sides of the political aisle, state employees and mayors, public…

Climate Policy

04/16/20
Earth’s changing climate is one of Georgia’s most significant long-term environmental challenges. The Georgia Conservancy is therefore committed to the development and promotion of policies and practices that lessen the adverse impacts on the environment…

An increase in stagnant summer air is expected to continue across the U.S.

04/16/20
Georgia currently averages about 20 dangerous heat days a year. By 2050, it is projected to see more than 90 such days a year.

An Update on Our Work During the COVID-19 Pandemic

04/16/20
In the spirit of fostering health and prevention in the wake of this pandemic, we’ve had to make some big scheduling changes here at Georgia Organics. On this page (click here), we have listed events,…

What does a changing climate mean for Georgia? What can we do about it?

04/16/20
We are building a state-wide network to address these questions.

HOW DOES CLIMATE CHANGE AFFECT GEORGIA?

04/16/20
“Georgia. Georgia on my mind.” A state known for its sprawling peach fields, its southern hospitality, and as a gateway to the Appalachian Trail. It was the birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the…

What Climate Change Means for Georgia

04/16/20
Our climate is changing because the earth is warming. People have

100% Renewable Energy

04/16/20
Imagine being able to power your life without harming the environment. Imagine our country producing and consuming energy while we enjoy healthy, livable communities. We have the power to give kids growing up today a…

Energy Generation

04/16/20
In a changing world where energy resources are becoming more scarce, alternative sources of energy become more important. The Center of Innovation for Energy Technology focuses on identifying and supporting the technologies that utilize local…

Georgia Profile Analysis

10/17/19
Georgia is located at the southern end of the Blue Ridge Mountains and has the largest land area of any state east of the Mississippi River.1 Despite its location near Appalachian coalfields and oil and…

MORE NEWS

In Georgia, Bloated Costs Take Over a Nuclear Power Plant and a Fight Looms Over Who Pays

By James Bruggers  Photo: Georgia Power   01/21/22  
Ballooning cost overruns and construction delays at Georgia Power Co.’s Vogtle nuclear project threaten to cost the state’s electricity consumers billions of dollars in the decades to come, a new think tank report concludes.

Georgia’s ‘Carpet Capital of the World’ now makes solar panels, too

By YCC Team  Photo: Jimmy Emerson DVM   01/07/22  
Dalton, Georgia, is home to some of the world’s biggest carpet companies. “We are the floor-covering capital to the world, and we’re very proud of that,” says Carl Campbell of the local economic development authority.

Combined Heat and Power as a Platform for Clean Energy Systems

Photo: Robert Felt , Georgia Tech   11/17/21  
The state of Georgia could dramatically reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, while creating new jobs and a healthier public, if more of its energy-intensive industries and commercial buildings were to utilize combined heat and power…

Georgia farmers experiment with new crops as the climate changes

By YCC Team   11/05/21  
Summer is the time to enjoy fresh, delicious peaches from Georgia. But winter weather is key to a good harvest. Peach trees need a period of cold to bloom well and produce abundant fruit. The…

Now on Hold, Georgia’s Progressive Program for Rooftop Solar Comes With a Catch

By James Bruggers  Photo: Andrew Caballero - Reynolds , Getty Images   09/10/21  
The math worked for adding solar panels to the roof of Temple Beth Tefilloh, a 135-year-old Jewish congregation that occupies a Moorish Revival-style building in historic Brunswick, Georgia.

Environmental group, elected officials push for clean transit

By Ariel Schiller   09/08/21  
Electric school buses might sound like something futuristic, but Blue Bird has been making them since 1994.

Climate change safety: What the crisis means for your state

By Jamie Greenberger   09/05/21  
Six years, 141 days, and just under 18 hours. At the time of publication, this is how long we had to achieve zero emissions to keep our planet habitable for future generations. By the time…

Drawdown Georgia and Solar Power in the State

By Alexia Ridley  Photo: Rich Pedroncelli , AP   09/01/21  
Reducing carbon emissions is a task facing scientists, environmentalists and others around the globe. Experts in Georgia one of the biggest sources of renewable energy available for the Peach State is Solar energy. Unfortunately, only…

Corps ruling secures metro Atlanta’s water from Allatoona for decades

By Tammar Hallerman   09/01/21  
For the third time in less than five months, metro Atlanta received assurance from federal authorities that a significant portion of its water supply needs will be secure in the decades to come.

Red Cross encourages planning during National Preparedness Month

08/28/21  
Families across the country are feeling the impact of climate change as we see more intense storms, heavier rain, higher temperatures, severe droughts, and record-setting hurricanes and wildfires. The American Red Cross of Georgia urges…

What The U.N.’s ‘Code Red’ On Climate Means For Georgia

By Leah Flemming and Tiffany Griffith  Photo: Wilfredo Lee , AP   08/26/21  
The past five years have been the hottest on record since 1850. That's just one of the findings in a new report by the United Nations. The authors of the report say the world must…
WSJ

Solar Power Booms in Georgia, Where It Isn’t Mandated

By Elena Shao   08/22/21  
Georgia has no mandates requiring power companies to add renewable energy and hasn’t made climate change a political priority. Solar power is booming there anyway.

Climate Conference highlights statewide projects, risks to vulnerable communities

By Lauren McDonald   08/14/21  
“What will we say 50 years from now about what we did in 2021?” Johnson asked the audience of the Georgia Climate Conference, which concluded Friday on Jekyll. “What will they say about our efforts?…

Another ‘Water Wars’ Case Goes Georgia’s Way

By Molly Samuel  Photo: David Goldman , AP Photo   08/12/21  
There’s more good news for Georgia in the decades-long legal battles between the state and its neighbors over water: A judge has sided against Alabama in a case concerning metro Atlanta municipalities’ use of water…

A Special Edition of ‘Closer Look’: Georgia And Climate Change

Rose Scott and Daniel Rayzel  Photo: Chad Madden   08/12/21  
A report released Monday by the United Nations says global climate change research is clear: human-caused emissions are accelerating global warming.
GPB

Report Finds 100% Renewable Energy Feasible In Georgia

By Emily Jones  Photo:   06/17/21  
A new report finds that if Georgia Power wants to meet the Biden administration’s clean energy goals, the utility needs to act quickly.

Sen. Warnock: Biden’s infrastructure plan can help repair America’s divisions

By Brian Roewe  Photo: David Becker , Reuters   05/05/21  
When a family dispute just seems like it can't be solved, sometimes the best solution is to work on a home project together: painting the garage, upgrading the bathroom or kitchen, or finishing the basement.…

Georgia Awarded RCPP Projects to Help Mitigate Climate Change and Protect Natural Resources

04/27/21  
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced the investment into two projects in Georgia designed to help mitigate climate change and protect natural resources. In all, USDA is inve

A green tech battery plant is transforming a deep-red part of Georgia

By Greg Bluestein   04/26/21  
The size of the SK Innovation electric battery plant is staggering, a construction project so vast it splays out along an industrial highway as far as the eye can see.

Georgia AG: Biden’s climate change working group could cost Georgia jobs

By Neyamekye Daniel  Photo: John Amis , AP   04/26/21  
Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr said President Joe Biden's executive order addressing climate change is an authoritative overreach that could kill a selection of Georgia jobs and impose more burdens on Americans.

Report: Close Georgia Power Coal Plants Faster To Avoid Climate Crisis

By Stanley Dunlap   04/22/21  
A new environmental report says that Georgia Power’s parent company and other regional utilities are not doing enough to reduce greenhouse emissions to avoid climate disaster.

Report: Close Georgia Power Coal Plants Faster To Avoid Climate Crisis

By Stanley Dunlap   04/22/21  
A new environmental report says that Georgia Power’s parent company and other regional utilities are not doing enough to reduce greenhouse emissions to avoid climate disaster.

Electric Vehicles Lead Clean Energy Job Growth In Georgia

By Emily Jones  Photo: David Zalubowsky , AP   04/19/21  
Georgia ranks 16th in the country for jobs in clean energy, according to the latest Clean Jobs America report from the business group E2.

Biden plan could boost roads, transit in Georgia

By David Wickert  Photo: Amr Alfiky , The New York Times   04/14/21  
President Joe Biden has proposed a $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan that includes spending on everything from clean water to broadband internet to child-care facilities. It includes $621 billion for a variety of transportation initiatives. The…

Biomass accounts for half of Georgia’s renewable power in 2020

By US Energy Information Administration   04/13/21  
In 2020, Georgia generated 5.8 million megawatthours (MWh) of electricity from biomass, or about 10 percent of the nation’s total, the second most of any state

Biden faces tough choice over a battery plant in Georgia

By Gavin Bade  Photo by David Goldman   04/08/21  
President Joe Biden’s ambitious electric vehicle plan has run into a huge hurdle with U.S. trade law, forcing him to choose between swing-state jobs and American intellectual property rules that have come under intense scrutiny…

Stacey Abrams helped Georgia go blue. Now she wants it to go green.

By Emily Pontecorvo   03/18/21  
Though best known for her voting rights work, stacey abrams is a fierce climate advocate. The former georgia state representative and gubernatorial candidate has worked on environmental issues since her college days in the ’90s,…

Silicon Ranch selects Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives to construct 100 MW of solar in Georgia

By Tim Sylvia   01/18/21  
Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives has been awarded an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract by Silicon Ranch to build the 100 MW Lumpkin Solar Farm, located in Stewart County, Georgia.

Georgia among hardest hit states in clean energy job losses

01/18/21  
Due to the hard-hitting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the clean energy industry finished 2020 with its fewest number of workers since 2015. It also marked the first year clean energy saw a decline in…

Why Ikea just bought an 11,000-acre forest in Georgia

By Adele Peters  Photo by JillianCain   01/14/21  
In southeast Georgia, a forest covering nearly 11,000 acres was at risk of being split up and developed. But a conservation organization acquired the land to protect it—and Ikea’s parent company, Ingka Group, just bought…

How the Georgia election results just raised Biden’s climate ambitions

By Juliet Eilperin, Brady Dennis and Steven Mufson   01/07/21  
With Democrats poised to take control of Congress, the prospects for President-elect Joe Biden to pursue more aggressive policies to tackle climate change and other major environmental problems have expanded overnight.
GTM

Warnock, Ossoff Win Senate Seats In Georgia, Widening Potential For Clean Energy Policy From Congress

By Emma Foehringer Merchant   01/06/21  
Democratic candidates Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff clinched victories in Georgia’s Tuesday runoff races for the U.S. Senate, according to the Associated Press, giving Democrats control of both chambers of Congress as President-elect Joe…

Georgia’s Blue Swash Tees Up a Flood of Green Spending

By Liam Denning  Photo by Jessica McGowan   01/06/21  
Hopes of a wave broke two months ago, but Georgia seems to have delivered a Blue swash. What does the improbable election of Raphael Warnock and, most likely, Jon Ossoff in the state’s Senate runoffs…

Teen Activists Push Climate Change Message Amid Georgia Senate Runoffs

By Alex Vuocolo   01/06/21  
With Georgia's Senate runoff election underway, a pair of local environmental activists are spreading their message about the need to fight climate change.  "Our biggest message is that people need to be thinking about the…

In Georgia Senate Race, Warnock Brings a History of Black Faith Leaders’ Environmental Activism

By James Bruggers  Photo by Alyssa Pointer-Pool   12/31/20  
Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. served as pastor and his funeral was held, has been a leader in a growing movement among American Black churches to embrace environmental…

Georgia Tech Will Help Manage DOE’s Savannah River Laboratory

By John Toon   12/28/20  
The Battelle Savannah River Alliance (BRSA) – which includes Georgia Tech – has been selected by the Department of Energy to manage one of the country’s premier environmental, energy, and national security research facilities—the Savannah…

Whale Week events raise awareness for endangered North Atlantic right whale

By Ashley Williams   12/01/20  
Organizers say the grassroots effort aims to bring the local community together and educate people about Georgia’s state marine mammal.

Weakening the South’s Dirty Energy Monopoly

By Judith Lewis Mernit   11/30/20  
It wasn’t that long ago in Georgia that it was economically pointless to put solar panels on your roof. Not only was there was no net metering law that allowed you to bank your sunshine…

TROUBLE HEARING ON THE PHONE

By David Hasemyer   11/30/20  
From a distance, the inland marsh a few miles from the Atlantic Ocean in Brunswick, Georgia, looks like a broad, green mat broken by silvery threads of meandering rivers and creeks. There's cordgrass four feet…

In Georgia, 16 Superfund Sites Are Threatened by Extreme Weather Linked to Climate Change

By David Hasemyer   11/29/20  
With climate a major issue in two Senate runoff elections, the state’s voters need look no further than coastal Brunswick for potential risks.

Mustering Georgia’s Environmental Voters

Photo by Phil Roeder   11/27/20  
CURWOOD: The November general election in Georgia was very close, and the two Senate seats will be decided in runoffs January 5th. So to see how environmental and climate voters might influence those races we…

Plan for climate solutions takes Georgia-specific approach

By Nedra Rhone   11/27/20  
In the spring of 2017, a boldly subtitled book became a national bestseller. “Drawdown,” wrote the authors, was “the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming.” The book, an extensive examination of 100…

Trump rule eases effort to strip-mine near Okefenokee Swamp

By Steven Mufson  Photo by Hal Beral   11/26/20  
When an Alabama company called Twin Pines Minerals proposed to strip-mine for titanium just outside the fragile Okefe­nokee Swamp, environmental groups and even federal agencies went up in arms.

The Other Race On Georgia’s January Ballot

By Rachel M. Cohen  Photo by Hyosubshin   11/23/20  
The Georgia Public Service Commission — a relatively obscure but highly consequential five-member body — makes important decisions like setting rates on Georgians’ electric bills and determining state investments into renewable energy

Silicon Ranch Corporation to invest $55M in Georgia renewable energy project

By Eric Mandel   11/23/20  
Silicon Ranch Corp. has plans to invest approximately $55 million in a new solar project in Houston County.

Farmers Are Warming Up To The Fight Against Climate Change

By Daniel Charles   11/20/20  
Farmers swarmed Capitol Hill wearing caps with the words "Don't Cap Our Future." And it worked. The legislation died, derailing the boldest plan Congress had crafted to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Kemp: Silicon Ranch to provide $55 million in a new solar project in Houston County

By Haley Garrett  Photo by Andreaz Rentz   11/18/20  
This is in partnership with Green Power EMC, Silicon Ranch will provide the solar energy it generates to serve more than thirty Electric Membership Corporations (EMCs) throughout the state.

RWE Renewables starts construction of 195.5-MW Georgia solar + storage project

By Billy Ludt   11/17/20  
RWE Renewables‘ Hickory Park Solar project, a 195.5-MWac facility coupled with a 40-MW 2-hour battery storage system, located in Mitchell County, Georgia, is under construction. RWE is the operator and manager of the solar +…

Senate 2020: The Loeffler-Warnock Senate Runoff in Georgia Offers Extreme Contrasts on Climate

By James Bruggers  Photo by Jessica McGowan   11/14/20  
The Rev. Rafael Warnock, Loeffler’s challenger in a Jan. 5 runoff and the pastor at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, has a climate plan with a strong focus on environmental justice, that calls for a clean…

Record warmth felt across Central Georgia this week

By Austin Chaney   11/13/20  
Record are supposed to be tough to break. Each record is an extreme for the day. Extremes are usually only beaten by small margins.