MARYLAND

MARYLAND

Already in 2008, Maryland commissioned a report which projected future climate change vulnerabilities for the state: an annual average temperature increase of about 3°F by mid-century; droughts lasting several weeks during the summer; rains and winds from hurricanes are likely to increase as will precipitation; sea level rise will accelerate causing Maryland to experience considerable shoreline erosion and deterioration of coastal wetlands. If sea level rises by 3 feet, most tidal wetlands would be lost — about 200 square miles of land would be inundated.

Despite being home to the second-largest coal exporting port in the United States, Maryland is among the leaders in a shift away from traditional energy sources. Maryland has no crude oil production and very little natural gas production. Further, the state is gradually transitioning away from coal. Since 2012, coal’s share in electricity generation has been less than 50% and in 2018 it fell to 23%. Alternative renewable energy sources such as solar and clean energy nuclear have been turned to in recent years, with one of Maryland’s nuclear power plants accounting for 34 of the state’s electricity generation in 2018.

According to the Environmental Information Administration (EIA), Maryland consumes five times more energy than it produces and the Maryland economy ranks among the ten least energy intensive states in the U.S., as well as being among the ten lowest in per capita energy consumption. The state’s energy is consumed primarily by the transportation, commercial and residential sectors with each consuming about 30% and the industrial sector accounting for the remaining 10%.

In 2009, Maryland passed the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act of 2009 (GGRA). Since its passage, the bill has been updated (in 2015 and 2019), with each amendment proposing greater energy conservation targets. As of 2019, the goals of the GGRA include a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and a transition to 100% clean electricity by 2040. The realization of Maryland’s proposed goals relies on a synthesis of a number of new and existing public programs and regulations introduced to the state’s private sector.

A member of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a cooperative of ten states in the Atlantic region with the goal of reducing GHG emissions, Maryland is able to regulate its energy use under the first cap-and-invest program in the nation. This program sets in place a cap on the GHG emissions allowed among the ten-state initiative and allows the private sector to trade for allowances under this cap.

State Governor Larry Hogan (R) has sought out ambitious climate change legislation and has championed Maryland as a leader in the field. In a November of 2019 tweet, Hogan broke from party lines, deriding the Trump Administration’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, asserting that “While Washington continues to address climate change, Maryland continues to lead.”

The Climate Solutions Act of 2021 aimed to reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions by 60% from 2006 levels by 2030 and to require the State to achieve net-zero statewide greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. Unfortunately, although the Senate passed the bill in the Spring of 2021, it lost in the House. Sponsor Paul G. Pinsky (D) said he hopes for a bigger effort next year.

Maryland is one of seven states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast to have record sweltering heat in July, 2020. Records date back to 1895. In 2021, they had their first heat related death on June 16 and hit a record 98 degrees on June 30.

Maryland is one of twenty four states, plus Puerto Rico, committed to the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of governors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

CURRENT NEWS

PLANS TO ACCELERATE RENEWABLES

County Executive Elrich Releases Recommended FY 23 Capital Budget and Recommended FY23-28 Capital Improvement Program

01/18/22
Today, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich transmitted his $5.05 billion Recommended FY 23 Capital Budget and FY23-28 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) to the Montgomery County Council. The County Executive’s funding recommendations will address major capital…

Mayor and Sustainability Office Release Carbon-Neutral Goals for Baltimore City

01/18/22
Today, Mayor Brandon M. Scott and Director of the Office of Sustainability, Lisa McNeilly, announced an updated set of goals for Baltimore City’s Climate Action Plan. At the direction of Mayor Scott, the City has…

Frederick County Council To Vote On Climate Change Initiatives

01/17/22
Frederick, Md (KM) A vote is expected on Tuesday by the Frederick County Council on several climate change initiatives . The total cost of the package is $3.7-million which is one-time funds.

Legislators plan green-focused bills this session

01/14/22
The weekend before convening in Annapolis, a collection of Maryland lawmakers unveiled and explained the environmentally directed bills they plan on introducing during this year’s legislative session.

Ørsted approved for second larger Md. wind farm

12/23/21
Last week, the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) signed off on Skipjack Wind 2, a proposal that would include 846 megawatts of energy via large offshore wind turbines. The Danish multinational green energy company is…

Maryland Department of Transportation Makes Plans for Total Electric Bus Fleet

12/22/21
Following Maryland’s Zero-Emission Bus Transition Act as well as the growing need to stay on top of technology and replace its aging fleet, the Maryland Department of Transportation and the Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA)…

Maryland Commission Awards ORECs to US Wind and Skipjack Offshore Energy

12/21/21
Maryland’s offshore wind portfolio is poised to grow substantially with a decision by the Maryland Public Service Commission to award offshore wind renewable energy credits (ORECs) to two developers that have proposed more than 1,600…

Town of Indian Head Government commits to 100% Renewable Energy

10/13/21
At a town meeting on October 4, 2021, the Town Council of Indian Head issued a proclamation of commitment to transitioning the town government to renewable energy

Officials begin work on community choice energy, a piece of Climate Action Plan

09/24/21
As Montgomery County works on a Climate Action Plan, state legislation passed this year has already started the process for one component: community choice energy. Community choice energy is a program that will allow counties…

Maryland regulators unanimously expand community solar pilot

09/02/21
Regulators in Maryland have unanimously voted to expand the capacity of the state’s community solar program as well as improve access for low- and moderate-income (LMI) customer participation in the state’s Community Solar Pilot Program.

Betting the Farm on Solar Energy

09/01/21
As state and local governments struggle to meet clean energy mandates, they recognize that agricultural land is often a great place to site large renewable energy projects. But placing large solar arrays and other renewable…

US Wind plans up to 1.2 GW expansion off Maryland coast, moves to boost domestic supply chain

08/05/21
Offshore wind developer US Wind has submitted a bid for a new 1,200 MW offshore wind farm, slated for construction adjacent to the company's $77 million MarWin project, which is already set for construction off…

Gov. Larry Hogan announces clean energy expansions in Maryland

08/03/21
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan made strides towards expanding clean energy in the state on Tuesday. Hogan announced a new partnership between Tradepoint Atlantic and US Wind to expand offshore wind use (electrical power created using…

In Md. Coal Country, a Push for Clean Energy — and a College Campus Leads the Way

07/15/21
Greg Barnett, a senior at Frostburg State University, grew up in Charles County and spent a lot of time visiting his grandfather in Washington, D.C., so Western Maryland is a different world for him. But…

Maryland Receives Funding to Develop Wood Energy Projects

07/01/21
he Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Maryland Forest Service has been awarded nearly $250,000 for a Wood Innovations Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to develop priority projects with the Maryland Wood…

Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard and Geothermal Heating and Cooling Systems

07/01/21
Altering the renewable energy portfolio standard in certain years to require a certain percentage of energy from Tier 1 renewable sources each year to be derived from certain geothermal heating and cooling systems

House-Senate Divisions Killed Climate Bill But It Should Have a Second Life in 2022

By Elizabeth Shwe 04/20/21
During a legislative session dominated by coronavirus relief and confronting systemic inequities, General Assembly Democrats splintered over major climate change legislation, which eventually led to its collapse on the night of Sine Die.

Maryland Senate passes climate act by wide margin

03/15/21
The Maryland Senate voted Friday to ramp up Maryland’s efforts to fight climate change over the next decade, passing a sweeping bill that calls for a massive tree planting campaign along with more electric vehicles,…

Maryland releases long-awaited climate plan

02/22/21
 Maryland releases a climate action plan to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2045,14 months later than directed by the legislature.

Department of the Environment Releases a Climate Action Plan — 14 Months After Deadline

02/20/21
The Maryland Department of the Environment released a 279-page report Friday outlining the state’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve net-zero emissions by 2045.

Montgomery County Joins Leaders Across Maryland and the United States in Affirming Commitment to Global Climate Action on Fifth Anniversary of Paris Agreement

12/23/20
Montgomery County has joined counties and cities across Maryland and the United States to mark the five-year anniversary of the world coming together to sign on to the Paris Climate Agreement. To celebrate the anniversary…

County Executive Marc Elrich To Transform Portion Of Former Landfill Into Solar Energy Project

12/15/20
Montgomery County moves another step closer toward meeting the ambitious goal of eliminating greenhouse emissions by 2035 with an innovative partnership that will provide reliable clean energy for low-to-moderate income households and County Government. Ameresco,…

Preparing for Climate Change in Maryland

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

Baltimore Climate Action Plan

04/11/19
The City of Baltimore is committed to taking action to mitigate global climate change. Baltimore’s greenhouse gas emissions for our baseline year 2010 were 7,579,144 metric tons (MT) CO2e/yr and will rise to 7,838,996 MT…

Maryland State 2015 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan Update

04/10/19
“We are on track to meet our own climate change goal and requirements. We have even greater opportunities ahead of us. Maryland and its citizens and communities can reduce environmental and economic risks, increase energy…

KEY RESOURCES

Maryland Solar Panels: Pricing and Incentives

02/11/22
Like much of the nation, Maryland is fairly new to solar power. Luckily, like many other states, it’s making up for lost time. Maryland now produces 1,342.4 MW of solar power each year, making up…

Maryland State Profile and Energy Estimates

10/02/21
Maryland wraps around the Chesapeake Bay and extends west into the Appalachian region, where the state's only fossil fuel reserves—coal and natural gas—are found. Baltimore, the state's largest city and one of the 20 largest…

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.

Empower Maryland

07/01/21
The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) strongly supports energy efficiency and conservation programs developed pursuant to the EmPOWER Maryland Energy Efficiency Act (codified at Md. Code Ann., Public Utilities § 7-211). In enacting the EmPOWER Maryland…

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 Maryland

09/19/20
Between 2017 and 2019, Maryland experienced five severe storms, one tropical cyclone, and two winter storms. The damages of each event led to losses of at least $1 billion.

State-by-State: Climate Change in Maryland

07/31/20
Maryland is vulnerable to climate change, presenting risks to people, stressing infrastructure and causing agricultural and ecological impacts. Maryland’s climate has already warmed by one to two degrees Fahrenheit in the last century. Increasing variability…

Maryland and Climate Change

02/27/20
To meet the growing challenges climate change is having on Maryland, the region and the world, UMCES research programs seek to broaden our understanding of climate change’s effects on coastal ecosystems, specifically their sensitivity and…

Climate Change Program

02/13/20
The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) is leading Governor Hogan's efforts to reduce GHG emissions and adapt to the potential consequences of climate change while creating jobs and benefiting the economy, as required by the…

MORE NEWS

New report faults Maryland for failing to plan for stormwater pollution in Chesapeake Bay

By Hallie Miller   08/17/20  
Maryland is backsliding on past commitments to reduce stormwater pollution reaching the Chesapeake Bay, according to a report released Monday by an environmental watchdog group.

Apollo to acquire stake in renewable energy developer US Wind for $265 million

By Chibuike Oguh   08/14/20  
The majority of U.S. wind energy is currently generated onshore. But most new wind power projects are being sited offshore owing to limited availability of leased land and growing conflicts with local communities and land…

Record rain sets back Maryland phosphorus pollution progress in 2019; state expects to recover

By Rachael Pacella   08/11/20  
Maryland missed the interim target set by a decade ago by regional agreement to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus pollution of bay in 2019, but met the target for sediment runoff, the Chesapeake Bay Program reported…

Stronger hurricanes, worsened wildfires, record heat – the climate warnings march on | READER COMMENTARY

08/05/20  
After a stifling hot July that saw 25 days of 90-degree-plus weather — breaking a record that stood for nearly a century and a half — August swept into Maryland with tornadoes and torrential rain…

Baltimore’s July heat wave set a nearly 150-year-old record. And ‘it isn’t going to get better.’

By Colin Campbell   07/30/20  
The 25 days of 90-degree temperatures in one month recorded at BWI Marshall Airport as of Thursday set a 148-year record dating to Civil War hero Ulysses S. Grant’s first term as president, long before…

US state plans fossil fuel tax to fund schooling

By Paul Brown   02/27/20  
The US state of Maryland is proposing a fossil fuel tax to pay for pre-school education and to promote electric cars. The post US state plans fossil fuel tax to fund schooling appeared first on…

Historic Baltimore Water Justice Bill Becomes Law

01/13/20  
“Baltimore is shattering antiquated water billing inequities, setting a new benchmark for billing fairness and government accountability, and rising up as a water justice champion in this country,” said Rianna Eckel, Senior Organizer, Food & Water Action.…

Maryland regulators urged to consider climate, grid benefits of energy storage

By Matthew Bandyk   01/08/20  
Maryland regulators should create new value streams for energy storage projects that would compensate them based on their ability to reduce emissions and defer the need for distribution grid upgrades, among other factors, a group…
NPR

After The Water

By Rebecca Hersher and Ryan Kellman   11/07/19  
When a flash flood ripped through Old Ellicott City in Maryland, residents thought it was a freak occurrence. Instead, it was a hint about the future. And adapting to that future has been painful.

Code Red: Baltimore’s climate divide

09/03/19  
The impacts of climate change, like extreme heat, disproportionately affect residents of low-income neighborhoods in Baltimore....

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan orders state-owned buildings to be more energy efficient

06/26/19  
The state spends $210 million a year on utilities; order calls for a 10 percent reduction in energy consumption by 2029.
NPR

At Baltimore’s National Aquarium, Climate Change Presents Challenges Inside And Out

By Dana Cronin   05/05/19  
Three years ago, the National Aquarium in Baltimore made a big announcement. After a public backlash against marine animal parks brought on by the documentary Blackfish, the aquarium decided to move its prized pod of…

Maryland passes major renewable energy bill

By Jamie DeMarco   04/11/19  
Maryland passes major renewable energy bill By Jamie DeMarco Over the past 15 years, solar in Maryland has slowly but steadily grown, and now provides about 1.9% of the state’s electricity. However, the time for…

Maryland General Assembly approves 50 percent renewable energy target for 2030

By Scott Dance   04/08/19  
Maryland lawmakers approved a dramatic investment in renewable energy in the final hours of the 2019 General Assembly session, passing a measure mandating that half the state’s electricity supply come from renewable sources by 2030.

Raising state’s renewable standard could boost Maryland offshore wind

By David Foxwell   03/29/19  
Legislators in Maryland recently introduced a bill that would double the state’s renewable portfolio standard targets, creating significant incentives for offshore wind and solar. Lawyers at Beveridge & Diamond explained that Maryland’s current RPS requires…

Maryland launches community solar program, creating new green energy opportunities — but also potential conflicts

By Scott Dance   08/07/18  
Maryland has launched a pilot program that will allow anyone to power their home with solar panels — even if they are renters, condo-dwellers or live in the shade of trees.

Baltimore Sues 26 Fossil Fuels Companies Over Climate Change

By David Hasemyer and Nicholas Kusnetz   07/20/18  
The city’s waterfront revitalization has become a model for urban development, but sea level rise and extreme weather are putting its future at risk.

Maryland’s governor joins coalition focused on flooding, sea level rise

By Kate Ryan   01/09/20  
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has joined the American Flood Coalition, a nonpartisan group focused on the threat from sea level rise and flooding.