This article discusses how the Dirty South is getting cleaner. Atlanta’s City Council voted unanimously Monday to ensure all buildings in the city — homes, businesses, and city-owned structures — run on renewable energy by 2035.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the city currently gets less than 10 percent of its energy from “clean” sources. So replacing 90 percent of its power is a tall order. That means no fossil fuels and no nukes.
Atlanta ranks fourth-worst in the country when it comes to energy affordability, but this “100% Clean Energy Plan” is designed around equity. Elements of the plan include putting large-scale solar installations on city-owned buildings, developing community solar programs, and giving incentives to landlords to improve energy efficiency without penalizing renters. The Mayor’s Office of Resilience, which developed the plan, estimates hitting its goals will reduce residents’ energy bills by at least 26 percent, generate 8,000 jobs, and prevent 30 million metric tons of CO2 pollution (akin to taking more than 6 million cars off the road for a year).