Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro embarked on a promising journey during his campaign, vowing to propel the state into a future where 30% of its energy derives from renewable sources by 2030, a significant leap from the current 8%. However, one year into his term, the path to achieving this ambitious goal remains shrouded in uncertainty. This blog aims to delve into the intricate facets of Pennsylvania’s renewable energy landscape, scrutinizing the progress made, the challenges encountered, and the potential implications that may arise from the Governor’s commitment. As the state grapples with the transition towards a greener energy infrastructure, the lack of clarity surrounding the administration’s strategy poses questions about the feasibility of meeting the set target. Against this backdrop, we explore the multifaceted aspects of Pennsylvania’s renewable energy journey, seeking to shed light on the intricacies that shape its trajectory towards a more sustainable and eco-friendly future.

The Governor’s Stance

Shapiro’s campaign promised collaboration across party lines to make Pennsylvania an energy hub while safeguarding the economy. However, the lack of updates on the administration’s actions towards the 30% renewable energy target raises questions about the commitment to this crucial promise. A bill in the Legislature, HB 1467, stands as a potential catalyst for achieving this goal.

Legislative Landscape

HB 1467, introduced by Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, aims to update the state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (AEPS). The bill seeks to mandate that 30% of Pennsylvania’s energy sales come from renewable sources by 2030. While some members of the administration express support, Governor Shapiro has remained silent on the matter, leaving the bill’s fate uncertain in a divided Legislature.

Urgency and Climate Crisis

Advocates emphasize the urgency of addressing the climate crisis, asserting that updating clean energy standards is crucial for Pennsylvania to compete with other states and meet the increasing demand for renewable. The state’s current standing, ranking 50th in renewable energy growth, indicates the need for proactive measures to align with national trends and capitalize on federal incentives.

Pennsylvania’s Renewable Energy Lag

Pennsylvania’s renewable energy sector lags behind, with meager growth in solar compared to other states. The state’s solar industry, accounting for less than 1% of electricity generation in 2021, contrasts starkly with the growth experienced by neighboring states like Virginia. The Inflation Reduction Act at the federal level provides an opportunity for Pennsylvania to catch up, but state-level commitment is crucial.

The Evolution of AEPS

Since its inception in 2004, the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (AEPS) in Pennsylvania have played a pivotal role in shaping the state’s approach to renewable energy. Initially regarded as a radical initiative, the AEPS set ambitious targets for incorporating renewable energy into the state’s power generation. However, as the years have unfolded, neighboring states have outpaced Pennsylvania by adopting more ambitious goals.

While the AEPS has proven effective in the past, its current framework necessitates a crucial overhaul to align with contemporary climate objectives and evolving market demands. The pressing need for this update is underscored by the state’s lagging position compared to its counterparts. Not only does this adjustment reflect a commitment to environmental sustainability, but it also becomes a crucial factor in attracting investors who are increasingly drawn to states offering favorable incentives for renewable energy development.

In the ever-evolving landscape of clean energy, Pennsylvania stands at a crossroads, where the recalibration of AEPS emerges as an essential step towards a more competitive and environmentally responsible future.

Political Challenges and Industry Opposition

Pennsylvania’s journey towards renewable energy faces substantial political challenges and staunch industry opposition. Previous endeavors to update guidelines, spearheaded by legislators such as Sen. Steve Santarsiero, encountered formidable obstacles. Opposition from industry groups, particularly those advocating for fracking companies and manufacturers, has been a persistent hurdle.

Despite a recent shift in the House’s Democratic majority, providing a potential opening for legislative progress, the fate of HB 1467 hangs in the balance. The uncertainty intensifies as the bill navigates the complex landscape of the Republican-led Senate. Here, concerns echoing about national security and labor rights add another layer of complexity to the deliberations.

The clash between environmental goals and economic interests is evident, with industry stakeholders asserting their concerns over potential impacts on national security and labor dynamics. This political battleground underscores the intricate balancing act required to navigate the path towards a more sustainable energy future in Pennsylvania. As the state grapples with these challenges, the fate of HB 1467 serves as a pivotal point in determining the extent to which political will and industry interests can find common ground for the benefit of the state’s energy landscape.


As Pennsylvania navigates the complexities of its renewable energy future, Governor Shapiro’s conspicuous silence on pivotal legislative initiatives raises alarms regarding the state’s capacity to achieve its 30% renewable energy target by 2030. The convergence of political hurdles, staunch industry opposition, and the pressing need to address the climate crisis accentuates the imperative for proactive and resolute measures. The state finds itself at a critical crossroads, emphasizing the urgency of capitalizing on federal incentives and revamping clean energy standards. These strategic actions are vital not only for meeting environmental commitments but also for ensuring Pennsylvania’s competitiveness within the dynamic and evolving landscape of renewable energy on both regional and national fronts.