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100% Renewable Energy Goals Are Within Reach

100% Renewable Energy Goals Are Within Reach

Source

Aries Clean Energy

Publication Date

December 5, 2018

When Georgetown, Texas, reached its renewable energy goal, city leaders were at first hesitant to publicize the move to 100% renewable. But when it did, millions of outside investment dollars came into the city for economic development.

Almost every week, the news is filled with companies, cities, and/or states announcing their renewable energy commitment goals. These goals will help lower carbon footprints and improve the overall health of our planet.

Companies included in this energy club include Adobe, IKEA, Bank of America, Lego, Facebook, Google, Starbucks, Unilever, and Wal-Mart just to name a few. The Climate Group reports that of the companies who have announced renewable energy goals, the breakdown by industry is: 36% are consumer goods related; 24% finance, 14 information technology; and 10.5 are industrial.

As the year draws to a close, let’s take a look at some of these cities and see where they are in this process. You might be surprised to find out that several cities are already there.

ENERGY GOAL COMPLETE

Kodiak Island, Alaska, achieved its 100% renewable energy goal in 2012 with a mix of 80% hydropower and 20% wind. In 2007, the city received 20% of its power from diesel generators and 80% from hydropower. When diesel fuel prices began to fluctuate, the town installed three wind turbines. But as the town relies on an isolated power grid, and it cannot rely solely on other power plants if wind power declines. To reduce the risk of an outage, the city installed an industrial battery bank and a 6.5-ton flywheel to meet the energy requirements of its commercial shipping crane.

In 2013, Greensburg, Kansas, met its renewable energy goal. In 2007, a tornado heavily damaged Greensburg and its infrastructure. This gave the town an opportunity to reinvent its infrastructure. To reduce utility consumption bills and avoid cost spikes of traditional energy sources, the city chose wind power. It is now running on 100% wind power.

Burlington, Vermont, achieved its renewable energy goal in 2014. It chose a renewable mix of 44% biomass; 35% hydropower; 19% wind; and 2% solar. When the city first started this, it was already using part hydropower. During this time, the city also moved from burning coal to renewable biomass. Buying and selling renewable credits from different states makes up the difference for Burlington.

Just this year, Georgetown, Texas, achieved its goal. A published report says city leaders were at first hesitant to publicize the move to 100% renewable. But when it did, millions of outside investment dollars came into the city for economic development. Today, many companies in the city now feature the renewable energy factor into their marketing materials. The city chose a renewable mix of 50% solar; 50% wind. The city is known for its charming, old-fashioned street lights that are now powered by renewables.

AND COMMITTED FOR TOMORROW

Many cities and a few states have made commitments to have their energy come from 100% renewable sources.

Toas County, New Mexico, already at 24% of its daytime power coming from solar, has committed to 100% by 2030. In getting to this goal, the city also set a 100% of daytime energy needs to come from solar by 2022.

Atlanta, Georgia – In 2017, Atlanta, made the commitment to running all its municipal buildings, including its airport, on 100% renewable power by 2035. The city council is eager to reduce energy costs for the city where the temperatures are over 90 degrees for a third of the year. This huge city plans to reduce demand by:

  • Conducting energy audits to find opportunities for increased efficiencies;
  • Identifying technological improvements that lead to future cost savings; and
  • Purchasing renewable energy credits to offset traditional energy source purchases.

St. Louis, Missouri – In making the commitment to renewable energy, the Board of Aldermen of St. Louis, Missouri, also saw this as an opportunity to be a leader among peer cities and address widespread smog and asthma problems. Ameren Corporation, St. Louis’ electric utility, announced earlier this year that is plans to expand wind and solar generation. In response to customer demand, the company has a goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 80% by 2050. The city is currently at 5% renewable.

Hawaii – The state of Hawaii has set its 100% renewable energy goal for 2045. It is currently at 27% with wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, and hydropower. The state has an advantage over most other state because it can easily access solar, wind, hydropower, and geothermal in its location. There is great economic potential in this with new companies and jobs related to renewable energy expected to come to the island.

California – It is no secret that California has made big commitments to renewable energy of late. In 2017, 29% of the state’s electricity came from a mix of hydropower, solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass. The state hopes to reach 100% by 2045. California currently receives 33% of its power from out of state sources and hopes this process will help it achieve self-sufficiency.

GASIFICATION CAN HELP ACHIEVE GOALS

The technology at Aries Clean Energy can address renewable energy concerns with its gasification technologies. The company holds patents on both downdraft and fluidized bed technologies. In both methods waste materials, sludge, or renewable biomass is diverted from landfills and land application methods and cleanly converted to a fuel similar to natural gas. The gas can be used to generate electricity behind the meter.

Aries provides an economically positive way to help solve the mounting problem of municipal and industrial waste streams that end up in local landfills, while producing energy that can be used in a variety of applications. Ask us how we can help you get closer to your energy and/or zero-waste goals.

For more information, https://www.jec.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/4edc2ce4-16e9-4041-9ae6-8594493a30b0/american-communities-embrace-100-percent-renewable-energy.pdf

The streets light up with renewable energy in Georgetown, Texas.

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