As national politicians squabble over the existence of climate change, many cities are taking practical steps to embrace renewables. The Sierra Club has gotten dozens of cities to sign a pledge to phase out fossil fuels. Five have already managed to buy or produce as much electricity from renewable sources as they consume. They’re the kinds of places you might expect to succeed. Three of them — Kodiak Island, Alaska, Greenberg, Kansas, and Rock Port, Missouri — are tiny and sit next to big dams, big wind turbines, or both. The other two, Burlington, Vermont, and Aspen, Colorado, are affluent ski towns full of environmentalists. It’s much harder to go 100 percent renewable in a place like Pueblo, where there are lots of poor people struggling to pay their utility bills. Renewable energy can now beat fossil fuel on price when the sun is beating down and the wind is pinwheeling turbines — but providing renewable energy 24 hours a day, 12 months a year is still more expensive. Nonetheless, anti-poverty advocates and environmentalists have formed a political coalition that’s pushing for renewable energy in Pueblo.
Grist 9th Jan 2018 read more »