This week, Atlanta city officials announced details on the city’s plan to reach 100% clean energy by 2035, as opposed to the original 2050 milestone.
According to insideclimatenews.org, Atlanta, which last year became the largest city in the South to make the pledge to reach a 100% renewable energy goal, is among the first to develop a blueprint showing how to get there, said Sierra Club’s Georgia director, Ted Terry. The plan was drawn up by the city’s Office of Resilience after an extensive public outreach effort and has the blessing of Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.
City officials identified three pathways to 100% (assuming no change in local regulations). Those pathways are:
- Purchase renewable energy credits, such as from out-of-state windfarms, to offset the city’s power consumption. This would cost the least but also provide fewer local benefits.
- Meet half the city’s electricity through efficiency and rooftop solar in Atlanta and larger-scale solar elsewhere in Georgia. The rest would be through the purchase of renewable energy credits.
- Maximize the city’s local clean energy potential, adding all possible local clean energy, resulting in even more economic and health benefits. Officials estimate it could bring 8,000 new jobs through 2035.
Atlanta is among more than 70 U.S. cities that have adopted a 100 percent renewable electricity goal, according to a tally by the Sierra Club. That number has more than doubled in the last year as mayors and cities have reacted to President Donald Trump’s announcement that he was pulling the United States out of the 2015 Paris climate agreement.
As energymanagertoday.com reported in May, many businesses across the US are moving aggressively to reduce their carbon footprint, including a major embrace of renewable energy and alternative-fueled vehicles, according to Deloitte’s “Resources 2018 Study – Businesses Drive, Households Strive.”