Envision a clean energy future for the City of Asheville. That’s a City powered entirely by renewable energy through multiple strategies.
It’s not as far-fetched as you may think. Aspen, Colo., is already powered by 100% renewable electricity — a mix of approximately 50% wind, 45% hydropower, and the remaining 5% from solar and landfill gas. It is one of six U.S. cities already renewable, as cited by the Sierra Club.
Now Asheville is making a renewable pledge. At its Oct. 23 meeting, City Council adopted a resolution calling for the City of Asheville to power itself with 100% renewable energy by the year 2030.
The 100% Renewable Energy Resolution was crafted by the City’s Sustainability Advisory Committee on Energy and Environment (SACEE) with lots of supporting legwork by the Office of Sustainability.
While fiscal impacts are unknown at this time, the resolution supports Council’s commitment to a clean and healthy environment.
Asheville is poised to be part of a regional effort in this area. In 2017, Buncombe County adopted a 100% renewable energy resolution to implement the best fiscally and environmentally responsible energy solutions for a goal of 100% renewable energy for the county by 2030 and 100% renewable energy use for the larger community and county by 2042.
Work is already going in in this direction. The City of Asheville is working closely with Buncombe County and Duke Energy to reduce the region’s reliance on fossil fuel generation and avoid or delay construction of a new gas-fired generating plant through the Energy Innovation Task Force.
We’re in good company. Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer has joined with more than 1,000 mayors in the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement to commit to significantly reduce carbon emissions known to contribute to climate change. Also some 600 colleges and universities have made a commitment to reduce greenhouse gases, including many in North Carolina.
The City of Asheville already has electric vehicles, including new electric buses on order to come on line at the beginning of next year. Our crews have some electric landscaping tools in use.
Stay tuned as the City works to implement this policy from Resolution #18-279.