No matter what side of the aisle you’re on when it comes to the business aspect of the energy debate, I think we can all agree that finding new sources of renewable energy is probably a good idea. The City of Chicago also believes in renewable energy and mayor Rahm Emanuel has outlined his ambitious goal to transition all city buildings to 100% renewable energy power by 2025. In the city’s press release it states the city was responsible for consuming 8% of the overall electricity. The number they put on that 8% was 1.8 billion kilowatt hours of electricity or the equivalent of 295,000 Chicago homes.
Emanuel says the city is committing to moving to wind and solar energy for city buildings in order to alleviate the burden and consumption of electrical resources. Emanuel hopes the commitment to renewable energy will also stoke the economy in Chicago.
The commitment will be met through a combination of acquiring renewable energy credits, utility-supplied renewable energy via Illinois’ Renewable Portfolio Standard, and on-site generation. Initial purchases will begin in 2018 and 2019.
“Today’s action is a historic step forward in establishing Chicago as a clean energy leader,” said Jack Darin, Illinois Sierra Club President. “By moving boldly to repower its public buildings with renewable energy like wind and solar, Chicago is leading by example at a time when local leadership is more important than ever. While President Trump and his administration would reverse America’s progress on climate change and clean energy, Mayor Emanuel is ensuring that Chicago will move forward, and that its residents will benefit from the good jobs and cleaner air that come from renewable energy projects. We look forward to working with the Mayor, community leaders, and the people of Chicago to achieve this bold goal on the path to eventually powering all of Chicago with 100% clean energy.”
Mayor Emanuel announced Chicago’s new commitment on the rooftop of Shedd Aquarium, which has installed over 900 solar panels in an effort to reduce their energy use by 50 percent by 2020. As a member of Mayor Emanuel’s Retrofit Chicago Energy Challenge, Shedd Aquarium has also retrofitted nearly 1,000 of its own light bulbs to LED and installed a 60,000 pound, one-megawatt battery on their own property.
2025 isn’t that far down the line so it will be interesting to see if Emanuel and his team can achieve their 100% goal in that span of time. The recent installation of the solar panels atop the Shedd Aquarium is a pretty good start but there is a lot of work to be done.Source: City of Chicago