WASHINTON, May 3, 2017 - Atlanta is one of the latest U.S. cities pledging to rely on 100 percent renewable energy sources by 2035, after the city council unanimously approved a resolution to that effect on Monday.
“The City's commitment to 100 percent clean energy will create good local jobs for Atlanta residents, reduce air pollution and associated public health risks, reduce the strain on water resources and save consumers money,” notes the resolution, which defines “renewable energy" as energy derived from wind, solar, existing and low- impact hydroelectric, geothermal, biogas, and wave technology sources.
It’s not exactly clear how our nation’s 40th largest city will meet that goal. The resolution notes that Atlanta is under franchise agreement with Georgia Power Company for electricity service until 2064 and, even though the firm has made “great progress in bringing solar and wind resources into the electric generation mix since 2010…..the overall percentage of these resources in the generation mix remains less than 2 percent.”
However, the resolution directs the city’s Office of Sustainability to develop a plan by January of 2018 that includes “interim milestones, budget estimates, equity metrics, estimated financial impacts, financing mechanisms, and the percentage of clean energy that shall be locally and distributively generated.
Twenty-five U.S. cities, including San Diego, Salt Lake City and Chicago have already adopted ambitious 100 percent clean energy goals, and six smaller U.S. cities, including Aspen, CO, Burlington, VT, Greensburg, KS, Kodiak Island, AK, and Rockport, MO. have already hit their targets to generate 100 percent of the energy used community-wide from clean, non-polluting and renewable sources, the resolution notes.