Boulder, CO, continues on its path to creating its own, 100 percent renewable energy-based utility with its latest vote to approve new climate goals. After two years of discussions the city council members voted unanimously to aim to reduce the city and county’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent below its 2005 levels by 2050.
A big step in getting there will be going 100 percent renewable by 2030. The city also will strive to reduce emissions from all city operations to 80 percent below 2008 levels by 2030. Among other things, that would likely mean transitioning its vehicle fleet to electric and hybrid vehicles.
The city previously joined a handful of cities that have pledged to go 100 percent renewable. Already Aspen, CO, is powered 100 percent with renewable energy, for instance. But bigger cities like Boulder face more issues in reaching such a milestone.
The city’s studies show that progress 60 percent of the needed emissions reductions in the electric sector can be met by retiring all of fossil fuel-based generators that service the city and replacing them with renewable energy by 2050. The majority of emissions comes from the city’s energy sector, including transportation and heating. As such, creating strategies to eliminate natural gas for heating and petroleum for transportation will be the city’s primary climate action focus for 2017.
“Boulder has put words into action by setting a community-wide goal to achieve 100 percent clean, renewable electricity by 2030,” said Mayor Suzanne Jones. “We hope this action inspires other cities across Colorado to commit to creating a clean energy future that moves beyond dependence on fossil fuels and creates more prosperity and opportunity for all.”
The city had already announced that it was creating its own utility, eliminating its reliance on Xcel Energy. The city’s studies found that in creating its own utility it could actually save money as opposed to maintaining its relationship with Xcel as its energy provider. The change also will allow the city more flexibility as it chooses appropriate renewable energy technologies like wind and solar to meet its and its residents’ and businesses’ energy needs.Tweet