Energy independence: Utah unveils its new energy and innovation plan

Utah Governor Spencer Cox unveiled the state’s new energy and innovation plan that pursues an “all of the above” strategy and commitment to American energy independence.

“State code requires that the state energy policy have adequate, reliable, affordable, sustainable and clean energy resources and this plan does just that,” Cox said. “It’s crucial that we ensure Utah’s energy future is secure, innovative and reliable in order to maintain our high quality of life and robust economy.”

The plan was detailed at Tuesday’s One Utah Summit and is posted as a story map on the Utah Office of Energy Development’s website.

“Governor. Cox frequently tells his team that good policy cannot be written sitting in our offices in Salt Lake,” said Thom Carter, energy adviser to the governor and executive director of the Office of Energy Development.

“He encouraged us to travel the state so we could truly understand the important issues facing Utahns. After taking that advice, traveling the state for a year, and talking to many experts, stakeholders, and the public, we’ve created this interactive state energy plan that demonstrates our commitment to a balanced approach to energy. on the market. »

What the plan says: Beyond emphasizing a diversified portfolio of energy resources and energy independence, the key principles of the plan focus in particular on innovation, including:

  • Seek market-driven climate solutions that enable innovative power generation and support for Utah-based research and development.
  • Support rural communities through economic development and diversification efforts, infrastructure investments, and workforce training and development.
  • Fostering a clean energy future through a “strong and responsible mining” program for critical minerals and additional investments in emerging technologies such as hydrogen, storage, energy efficiency and quality research the air.
  • Collaborate with local, regional, and federal partners for electric vehicle charging, transmission, emerging fuel hubs, and coal community support and diversification.

The report highlights Utah’s success on multiple fronts, noting that the state is No. 9 in crude oil production, No. 10 in solar power generation capacity, No. 13 in production natural gas and No. 10 for coal production. Additionally, it is one of the top 10 states for mining, with most of the minerals needed for clean energy development located within Utah’s boundaries. Utah is also just one of seven states to generate large-scale electricity from geothermal sources.

Project FORGE is located in central Utah and is an international research and demonstration effort aimed at commercializing vast geothermal resources in a financially viable manner.

The Evolution of Renewable Energy in Utah: The state is sprouting several solar farms, including projects for school trust lands that will generate revenue to benefit schoolchildren. It also has good wind resources and a carbon sequestration project is being planned.

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