The state mandated in 2010 that 20 percent of all energy produced come from green power electricity by 2022. In addition, a 2009 act dictates that Maryland must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by the year 2020, according to the Maryland Energy Administration.
Increasingly, Maryland's residents are heeding the law. In 2007, the state generated 733 megawatts from renewable energy sources. In 2011, that number rose to 910 megawatts, according to the Maryland governor's office. By 2022, Maryland expects to harness 3,721 megawatts from green energy.
Maryland is uniquely situated to enjoy the benefits of wind-generated electricity. In 2011, the state produced 120 megawatts of electricity from wind power, up from 2007 when no energy in the state came from the energy source, according to the Maryland governor's office.
Maryland's wind energy has much growth potential as well. According to the American Council On Renewable Energy, offshore wind has the potential to generate 3,900 megawatts of electricity, which would satisfy about two-thirds of the state's total energy needs.
"The sooner we 'pick' this obvious winner, the sooner we’ll have truly abundant clean energy in our state," Mike Tidwell, director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, wrote in The Washington Post.
According to the Maryland Clean Energy Center, wind power can reduce electric bills by up to 90 percent.
The state has also seen solar power become an increasingly viable electricity choice. Maryland generated almost zero electricity from solar photovoltaic cells in 2007, but four years later it had more than 37 total megawatts of electricity via solar, according to the governor's office.
According to the Maryland Clean Energy Center, the entire state could get the same amount of energy from the sun during one summer day as all of Maryland's existing power plants can generate in a year.
Maryland plans on greatly boosting its solar energy output once a new 160-acre solar farm in Hagerstown is completed. The plan is for that installation to create about 20 megawatts of electricity, which is enough to provide sufficient power to about 2,700 homes, according to The Gazette.
"We can move forward, or we can fall back," Governor Martin O'Malley said in a speech marking the groundbreaking of the solar farm. "That’s why the choices we make to move forward with solar here in Washington County and throughout our state matter."