Under a new proposal unanimously supported by Washington, DC’s city council, the district would move to 100 percent clean energy by 2032, a more aggressive move to clean energy than any other state or district in the US has thus enacted or proposed. Under the Clean Energy D.C. Omnibus Act of 2018, the district, the nation’s Capitol, would require all electricity sold to residents and businesses, as well as federal government, to come from renewable sources by 2032.
The move, which is pending approval from Mayor Muriel Bowser (D), is more aggressive than any other states have enacted—California and Hawaii will move to 100 percent clean energy by 2045—or have proposed. Earlier this week New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) unveiled his legislative agenda for 2019, outlining the proposal for the state to move 100 percent clean energy by 2040 and in October 2019 New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) proposed moving to 100 percent clean energy in that state.
Washington, DC’s proposal would go farther as well, requiring that 5 percent of the renewable would come from solar power within the city and that all public transportation and private fleet vehicles be zero-emission by 2045. The proposal was hailed by environmental and renewable energy advocates.
“We need to aim high and put forward ambitious solutions that match the scale of the environmental challenges we face. The bold leadership of the D.C. Councillors puts our nation’s capital at the head of the pack on clean energy, and this bill sends a strong signal to cities and states across America that it’s no longer a question of whether we’ll get to 100 percent renewable power, but how quickly,” said Environment America Senior Director of Clean Energy Campaigns Rob Sargent.
As a distinct entity Washington, DC, both a city and district will join a growing number of cities that have committed to renewable energy to provide all of its energy. Already 80 cities across the US have either committed to 100 percent renewable energy or already made the transition as the Sierra Club recently noted in its Ready for 100 campaign update.
“Despite tremendous progress on renewable energy in recent years, we still have a lot of work ahead of us,” Sargent said. “While the Trump Administration and Congress are still promoting antiquated fossil fuel technologies, we’re counting on our local and state governments, businesses and other institutions to lead the way by setting their sights on 100 percent renewable energy.”
The proposal in Washington, DC, also would increase funding for income-qualified residents and affordable housing providers with energy improvements, something the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) noted supported its goals.
“It’s noteworthy that this bill helps ensure solar energy is accessible to all residents in the District, including low-income residents, which is a priority for us. Given that much of SEIA’s team lives and works in the D.C. area—including some staff who have dedicated their own time to advocate for and strengthen this legislation—this milestone is especially meaningful for us,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, CEO of SEIA.
The city has a history of taking action to become cleaner and greener ahead of the curve, fitting for a Capitol city. In 2017 it became the first city in the world to achieve LEED for Cities Platinum by the US Green Building Council (USGBC). That designation was awarded for DC’s building efficiency and sustainability efforts.Tweet