The Virginia Energy Plan is currently being updated as required under Virginia Code § 67-201. The plan is updated every four years and covers a ten year period. The Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) is leading the effort and has hosted a number of public input sessions and accepted written comments through Virginia Regulatory Town Hall online forum. Online, public commenting closed at 11:59 PM on Friday August 24.
A first look at what the public has to say reveals a strong push to move Virginia forward into a new, clean energy economy. A total of 697 comments are posted on Virginia Regulatory Town Hall online forum. We identify 662 unique posters (individuals, organizations, or businesses). We also identify 145 organizations that are represented by comments made on the forum.
A preliminary sampling of the comments shows a majority of the comments support a shift away from a fossil-fuel based energy economy and a shift to low-carbon and zero-carbon energy solutions. An analysis of key words shows that solar, wind, clean electricity, jobs, energy efficiency, grid modernization and cost are among the topics most on the minds of Virginians. The word solar appears nearly 2,400 times and the word wind appears almost 1,300 times in the comments.
Zero Carbon Virginia’s statement is found here. Overall, it is good to see strong public support for moving Virginia forward toward deep decarbonization. We look forward to seeing the final plan and hope that the DMME team and Governor Northam hear the voice of the people and see that the right choice is clear based on economic, technical, and moral grounds: deep decarbonization by mid century.