New Report Focuses on Oregon's Changing Energy Landscape
Rachel Wray, 503-689-0294
SALEM — Details about Oregon’s electricity-generating resources, comparisons of how the state’s energy use tracks with population and economic indicators, and how Oregonians heat their homes are just some of the topics covered in the Oregon Department of Energy’s recently published Biennial Energy Report. The report, a clearinghouse of Oregon-focused energy information, is the product of legislation passed in 2017 that modernized the department’s energy reporting responsibilities to better serve Oregonians.
The report shows how Oregon is on a path toward transitioning to a cleaner, low carbon future. “Oregon’s long-standing energy and climate leadership has positioned our state well,” said ODOE Director Janine Benner. “Energy is a fast-moving area, and this report is designed to highlight Oregon’s progress, like our success integrating renewable energy and implementing energy efficiency strategies, while also identifying the opportunities and challenges a changing energy landscape brings to the state.”
An Oregon lens was applied to information included in the report, from the energy resources Oregonians depend on, to the policies, programs, and trends that shape how energy is delivered and used in the state. Data and examples included in the report are presented in an accessible format, and in-depth chapters take on issues such as climate change, energy resilience, transportation, and protecting consumers. The report also offers details on the growth of renewable energy, the electrification of Oregon’s transportation system, and “deep decarbonization” – which describes efforts to dramatically reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by the energy sector.
The 2018 Biennial Energy Report was shaped by public input the agency sought throughout the fall and winter of 2017. More than 250 people suggested topics to include in the final report. “We weren’t able to follow up on every suggestion we received, but we certainly tried, which is why this first report is fairly long,” said Benner. “We see our 2018 report as foundational, with energy facts and figures, but also with deeper dives on several areas critical to Oregon’s energy future. Future reports will home in on new issues facing Oregon.”
The Oregon Legislature recognized that an updated statewide energy report could inform local, state, and regional energy policy development and energy planning and investments. With state and local leaders weighing options for addressing energy-related challenges, the report offers up a plethora of data and information to support discussions and planning. The report also highlights current energy opportunities, which are driven by growing demand from consumers for cleaner energy, forecasted population growth, and emerging technologies.
The process of compiling and reviewing data for the report allowed ODOE to identify key areas where improved data collection and analysis could further energy policy discussions. The department will work with stakeholders over the next two years on filling in gaps where appropriate. In the meantime, the department will continue building out a special section of the ODOE website where Oregonians can access and download information from the energy report.