Washington’s strong clean energy policies have made it a national leader in wind energy and in energy efficiency. However, the state’s potential for solar power remains virtually untapped. Washington can start taking advantage of its full potential for solar energy by developing its capacity for rooftop solar power.
By 2025, Washington can install more than 650,000 rooftop solar PV systems—equivalent to about 3,200 megawatts (MW) of solar energy capacity. Rooftop solar power can help the state reduce its contribution to global warming and protect our environment. More solar power would also create jobs and boost manufacturing in Washington. Putting policies in place to accelerate the growth of the solar energy market will allow Washington to start reaping these benefits immediately.
Prior to implementing bans on plastic bags, approximately 290 million plastic bags were distributed Seattle and 30 million in Bellingham each year. In order to determine the success of the plastic bag bans, we conducted a survey of 1,291 consumers and 96 retail stores in Seattle and Bellingham during the month of October 2012. We found that consumers and businesses overwhelmingly support the bag bans there and that eliminating disposable plastic bags has increased the number of people using reusable bags.
Global warming is happening now and its effects are being felt in the United States and around the world. Among the expected consequences of global warming is an increase in the heaviest rain and snow storms, fueled by increased evaporation and the ability of a warmer atmosphere to hold more moisture.
Environment Washington Research and Policy Center is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to getting things done.