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Issues Of The Environment: Ann Arbor Commits To 100% Renewable Energy By 2035

Feb 7, 2018

Ann Arbor City Councilman Chip Smith
Credit Ann Arbor Local Wiki / localwiki.org

In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair welcomes 5th Ward Ann Arbor City Council member Chip Smith to discuss the recent resolution to power 100% of the city's municipal government operations with clean and renewable energy sources by 2035.


Overview

  • In January 2018, Ann Arbor City Council unanimously adopted a new resolution to power 100% of the city's municipal government operations with renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar by 2035 or sooner.  The resolution states the city's municipal government operations account for about 1.3% of Ann Arbor's total community-wide greenhouse gas emissions.  Currently, an estimated 20-30% of the city’s energy comes from renewable sources.
  • The city expects to meet the 2035 goal through a combination of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and optimal business practices.  Possibilities discussed for carrying out the goal include enrollment in the DTE’s MIGreenPower program (a “pay-ahead” premium of approximately $14 million to offset DTE’s cost for development of solar and wind installments) or building extensive solar infrastructure in Ann Arbor.  Direct purchase of carbon offset certificates is unlikely.
  • The 100% renewable goal covers Scope 1 emissions (directly produced by city facilities and city vehicles) and Scope 2 emissions (electricity, steam, and heating and cooling that is purchased for city government use).  Scope 3 emissions (indirect emissions from commuting or travel, goods, or waste) is not included.
  • The State of Michigan and DTE have also committed to reducing carbon emissions, but to a lesser degree.
  • Ann Arbor City Council Member Chip Smith says that the 2035 goal is part of Ann Arbor’s plan for meeting the goal of the city’s Climate Action Plan.  In addition to this resolution, the city also passed a resolution last August that expresses support for a federal Carbon Fee and Dividend plan, such as the one proposed by Citizens' Climate Lobby.

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu