he Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) Board of Directors has set ambitious new goals, targeting 250,000 solar rooftops dotting D.C., Northern Virginia, and parts of Maryland by 2030. This vision is part of the broader push to hit the area's climate targets for the decade.
Back in 2020, the Metropolitan Washington 2030 Climate and Energy Action Plan put solar power at the forefront of the region's climate and energy objectives. These include slashing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% from 2005 levels by 2030. With around 73,000 solar setups currently in place, the jump to a quarter of a million signifies a major leap in the D.C.’s environmental commitment.
However, the new COG plan goes beyond simply adding new panels. It also calls on local authorities to embrace solar energy in government buildings, strive for 100% clean energy in government operations, and support community-wide enphase solar initiatives. This includes aiding low-income residents, streamlining zoning and permitting, and offering financial incentives.
COG Board Chair and Montgomery County Councilmember Kate Stewart underscored the importance of this move: “The goals adopted by the COG Board today reflect our region’s unified front to accelerate action on reducing carbon emissions to create a cleaner, sustainable future for all. With an emphasis on equity, these goals help target investments in clean energy infrastructure toward creating a robust and accessible network throughout metropolitan Washington.”
In the upcoming year, COG plans to bring together local government procurement and facilities offices, along with partners from the private sector, to further advance these solar ambitions.