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Posts from the ‘Renewable Energy’ Category

Salt Lake City Publishes Plan to Tackle Climate Change

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Salt Lake City Publishes Plan to Tackle Climate Change and Carbon Pollution

Climate Positive plan prioritizes regional collaboration, community participation, and innovation to reduce pollution and enhance local resilience to warming temperatures.

 Salt Lake City has released a comprehensive plan entitled Climate Positive 2040, detailing ways the Capitol City will sustain its leadership role in addressing climate change.

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Good News on Solar in Utah

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Google’s Project Sunroof shows Salt Lake City’s massive solar potential. Click the image to navigate to the Sunroof site to explore the city’s energy potential.

Did you know that more solar energy reaches Earth in just five days than all of the fossil fuel reserves combined? Harnessing that solar energy is a critical part of switching to renewable energy and creating a more sustainable community, especially for sunny Utah.

And while the $2,000 state solar tax credit is set to phase out by 2021, there’s still enormous room for growth.

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Join Local and International Leaders For 2 Day Sustainability Summit

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SLCgreen is proud to be a part of the 8th annual Intermountain Sustainability Summit. Our Department Director Vicki Bennett and City Energy Project Advisor Wendy Lee will be speaking on the 17th. To register for the Summit click here to view student and professional registration rates.

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Salt Lake City and Utah Clean Energy Release 10 Year Solar Deployment Plan

by Avery Driscoll

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Solar’s been in the news a lot lately. Tax incentives, rate structures, and more have been keeping policy makers, utility staff, and renewable advocates busy.

One reason is that solar is growing at an exponential rate! In fact, Utah is now the 16th largest solar producer in the country.

Our state’s rooftop solar energy production has grown from one-tenth of a megawatt to an estimated 140 megawatts in just ten years. This means that the market for rooftop solar power has grown by 140,000% in a decade, and that doesn’t even include the increase in utility-scale production!

In order to ensure that solar production can continue to grow, the local non-profit Utah Clean Energy recently released A 10 Year Solar Deployment Plan for Utah, which was produced in partnership with Salt Lake City. Read more

Salt Lake City Spends $804 Million on Fossil Fuels Every Year

In 2014, SLCgreen released an analysis of the average energy consumption per household in Utah. We saw that the average household burns 17 pounds of coal, 208 cubic feet of natural gas, and 3 gallons of gasoline per day!

To follow-up on that report, today, we’re unveiling a bigger-picture overview of the fossil fuel consumption for Salt Lake City as a whole. Below you will find the infographic developed by Salt Lake City and the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance.

It clearly shows the flow of money from Salt Lake City to outside states and countries that produce fossil fuels.

This information really puts into perspective the importance of managing individual consumption and reducing energy waste, while enacting the best policies and regulations to help our businesses, residents, and government entities do the same.

As an individual, these numbers can be discouraging. But there are plenty of ways you can make a difference to reduce your carbon footprint and improve air quality.

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Still, the graphic begs the questions:

Wouldn’t it be better if the $804 million we spend annually on polluting fuels stayed in Utah? Better yet, what if it was invested in clean energy? 

Investing in clean energy in Salt Lake City is exactly what the Climate Positive initiative is all about. Click here to learn more about how Salt Lake City is working to cut off its dependence on fossil fuels over the next few decades.

And stay tuned: We’re about to unveil a more detailed plan on how to achieve our 80% greenhouse gas reduction goal by 2040.

Because all of this money should stay in Utah, while we keep the pollution out!

Mayor Biskupski Joins 32 Mayors to Urge Climate Action in Letter to President-elect Trump

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Salt Lake City Climate Warming at Twice the Global Average; Continues to Break Temperature Records

In a show of broad cooperation and commitment to addressing one of the most pressing needs of our time, Mayor Jackie Biskupski on Tuesday joined 32 other mayors from cities around the United States in asking President-elect Donald Trump to work with cities, rather than obstruct their efforts, to mitigate climate change over the coming years.

“We write today to ask for your partnership in our work to clean our air, strengthen our economy, and ensure that our children inherit a nation healthier and better prepared for the future than it is today,” the letter stated.

Mayors of cities as diverse as Dubuque, IA; Columbia, SC; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; Charlotte, NC; and more, representing over 35 million citizens in both red and blue states, signed on to the letter.  Together, they reiterated the grave risks to our nation’s economy, public health, infrastructure, and environment by failing to reduce emissions.

“Each month, we see a new heat record breaking for the Salt Lake City area,” said Mayor Jackie Biskupski. “Climate change is real. It’s impacting our communities right now. And we’re calling for the President-elect to join with us to ensure a livable future for our children.”

This summer, Salt Lake City had 21 consecutive days over 95 degrees, the warmest nighttime low ever recorded at 81 degrees, and the warmest June since 1874. This summer, the capital city also broke 3 high maximum records, 14 high minimums, and 17 total heat records.

More recently, Salt Lake City broke the record for the latest frost date.  After 242 days, on November 17, 2016, the airport finally hit 32 degrees—setting another record for the number of consecutive days above freezing.

Local bodies of water have also suffered.  In mid-July, a toxic algal bloom on Utah Lake—caused, in part, by high water temperatures and low water levels—closed the lake, sickened more than 100 people, and put dozens of farmers in Utah and Salt Lake counties in a bind during one of the hottest weeks of the year.

Emergencies like this are not just inconvenient; they cost cities, private citizens, state agencies, and businesses money. The coalition cited a recent estimate that the monetary cost to the American economy of climate change will be upward of $500 billion annually by 2050.

Knowing these risks, Salt Lake City is already taking aggressive action to reduce emissions.  Earlier this year, Mayor Biskupski and the City Council passed one of the most aggressive energy policies in the nation, pledging to source 100 percent of Salt Lake City’s community-wide electricity needs from renewables by 2032, and pledging to reduce overall carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2040.

In the days since the Presidential election, Mayor Biskupski repeated Salt Lake City’s commitment to overall environmental sustainability and emissions reductions. “As a city warming at twice the global average in recent decades, while also suffering from poor wintertime and summertime air, we must lead by example. Nothing is more important than the air we breathe–and, knowing we have as many inhalers as lunch boxes in our city schools, we do not have time to waste.”

The letter furthermore calls for leadership from the Trump administration on everything from transit, infrastructure, and renewable energy to the Paris Climate Agreement, and urges cooperation with cities on those fronts.

However, as the mayors conclude: “While we are prepared to forge ahead even in the absence of federal support, we know that if we stand united on this issue, we can make change that will resonate for generations. We have no choice and no room to doubt our resolve. The time for bold leadership and action is now.”

The letter to President-elect Trump was signed by member cities of the Mayors Climate Action Agenda (MNCAA), or the #ClimateMayors, and can be viewed here: http://www.climate-mayors.org/our-letter-to-the-presidentelect-november-2016/

Salt Lake City partnering on study for more clean energy

Salt Lake City, along with local government partners Park City and Summit County, is exploring creative new pathways towards securing more clean energy for the community.

The SLC City Council and elected officials from the other two communities recently adopted an Interlocal Agreement that commits the municipalities to collaborate and jointly fund a feasibility study. The study will evaluate renewable energy options, impacts, and opportunities to create a cleaner electricity supply for the long-term.

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More clean energy on the way!

The Interlocal Agreement reiterated what many of us already know–that energy choices have a notable impact on public health, including the economic and social well-being of current and future residents.  The Agreement also noted that Utah has an abundant supply of solar energy, being one of the 10 sunniest states in the U.S., and that a recent report from The Solar Foundation revealed that there are already over 2,500 solar jobs in Utah.

The communities are jointly seeking a firm to provide technical assistance and a feasibility report this year. Summit County has published a Request for Proposals.  Results of the study could be available as early as late 2016.

Transitioning to renewable energy is essential for the City to meet its climate and air quality goals. Emissions from electricity generation create over 50 percent of the Salt Lake City community carbon footprint and over 75 percent of the carbon pollution from local government operations.

Mayor Biskupski recently set a goal of 100 percent renewable energy for electricity used in government operations by 2032.  This new partnership with Park City and Summit County includes an expanded scope to help us get there.  As a whole, the study will evaluate clean energy options for the entire community, including all homes and businesses.

Stay tuned!

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