Looking Ahead to 2021

As this tumultuous and tragic year draws to a close, the Clean Energy Transition Institute is helping the Washington State Department of Commerce put the finishing touches on its 2021 State Energy Strategy, a roadmap to cut the Evergreen State’s greenhouse gas emissions in half between now and 2030. Here’s a summary of our work this year:

Washington State 2021 Energy Strategy

Early in the year we won the bid to provide technical expertise for Washington State’s decarbonization strategy. Working with Evolved Energy Research, we updated the Northwest Deep Decarbonization Pathways (NWDDP) analysis with current cost and technology data and modeled Washington State’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets.

From April through October, the Institute’s 12-member team led a technical advisory process that involved reviewing nearly 700 clean energy and decarbonization studies; creating a compendium of the state’s clean energy legislation; and conducting interviews with 99 regional and national clean energy experts, 56 Washington state agency staff, and 25 of the 27 Washington State Energy Strategy Advisory Committee members.

This project enabled us to develop a wealth of information about specific policies and actions required to decarbonize the building, transportation, electricity, and industrial sectors in the next decade and beyond, not only in Washington, but across the Northwest.

We presented our findings at various mileposts along the way, turned over our recommendations to the Department of Commerce on October 20, and Commerce then wrote the strategy. We have remained involved with editing the strategy and creating the graphical design and production of the final product, which will be delivered to Governor Inslee and the Washington State Legislature on December 31, 2020.

Oregon Clean Energy Pathways Modeling

Our work on the Washington state energy strategy led to a new project in November, Oregon Clean Energy Pathways Analysis, that is just getting underway. In partnership with Renewable Northwest, GridLab, and Evolved Energy Research, we will be using the updated NWDDP model to test various decarbonization scenarios for Oregon to inform policy discussions during the upcoming 2021 legislative session.

Financial Support

The Sustainable Path Foundation awarded a grant of $10,000 for our work in October. The Vandeventer Foundation awarded $5,000 in December for an overall total of $8,250 for 2020. We also welcomed 15 new supporters throughout the year to our growing list of individual contributors. We are exceptionally grateful to all our donors for their ongoing commitment to helping us achieve our mission to accelerate decarbonization in the Northwest.

We filed the Institute’s 2019 form 990 with the IRS. We are pleased to say that despite a challenging year for fundraising and adding two new staff members, we will close the financial year slightly ahead of where we were at the end of 2019.  

Looking Ahead

Our initial investment in modeling the technical and economic pathways to a deeply decarbonized Northwest has paid off handsomely. Our theory of change is sound—key stakeholders value unbiased analysis to make informed decisions about reducing emissions; our systemic, regional approach is particularly suited to economy-wide deep decarbonization; and policy makers value a trusted, data-driven convener that advances smart policy decisions to put the region on a path to a low-carbon economy.

With increasing recognition of the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and a new administration in the White House trained on addressing climate change, we believe the Institute is primed for even greater success in 2021.

Request for Support

As you think about your final charitable donations for 2020, we hope that you will keep the Clean Energy Transition Institute in mind. If you wish to contribute, you may either send checks to 4616 25th Avenue NE, #416, Seattle, WA 98105, or donate online.

All of us at the Clean Energy Transition Institute wish you and your families a safe and healthy New Year and thank you very much for your ongoing support.

Eileen V. Quigley

Founder & Executive Director
Eileen V. Quigley is Founder and Executive Director of the Clean Energy Transition Institute. Eileen spent seven years at Climate Solutions identifying the transition pathways off oil and coal to a low-carbon future in Washington and Oregon. She built and led the New Energy Cities program, which partnered with 22 Northwest cities and counties to reduce carbon emissions. As Director of Strategic Innovations, she oversaw New Energy Cities, as well as Sustainable Advanced Fuels.
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