The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will be releasing its Sixth Assessment on Monday 8/9/21. The following is a proposal for impactful climate action on the local level.
The 100% Renewable Energy Alliance of Louisville (REAL) proposes the construction of a City Solar Farm to meet Louisville’s goal of 100% renewable electricity for city operations. Current electricity demands require the installation to have 200,000 solar panels on 500 acres in outlying areas. The group is currently working on other programs, including energy conservation and expanded rooftop solar that would reduce energy demand and thereby the size of the installation.
According to a 2020 update from the Berkeley Lab, the average price for a utility-scale solar power purchase agreement in the Southeastern US is 2.58 cents per kwh. At times, LG&E has paid 4.371 cents for wholesale electricity. Whether generated by LG&E, by a solar developer, or by the city directly, clean, pollution-free, carbon-free electricity should be available to the citizens of Louisville. With existing technology and existing economics, fossil fuel coal and gas are no longer necessary and should be eliminated as soon as possible.
REAL appreciates the positive role LG&E has played in providing energy to the people of Louisville and recognizes the need for monopoly transmission and distribution of electricity but questions the continuing acceptance of monopoly generation of electricity. LG&E could provide solar energy to its customers at a good price, but they cannot provide it all without taking up too much land. Private owners of houses, commercial buildings, barns, warehouses, farms, parking lots, and vacant lots should also be allowed to provide solar energy to the grid for sale to customers that do not produce their own electricity.
City elected officials and members of the public are invited to discuss these and other renewable energy issues at the upcoming virtual event “REAL Good News: Local Action for Climate Care” on Saturday, September 18 at 7:00 pm. Zoom registration is available at REALGood News Registration.
REAL played a pivotal role in pressuring Louisville Metro Council to adopt the 100% Clean, Renewable Energy Resolution in February 2020, calling for Louisville to be powered by 100% clean energy in 20 years. Shortly afterward, the group released the plan, “LOUISVILLE’S ENERGY FUTURE: A Path to 100% Renewable Energy by 2040,” which can be read at http://renewableenergylouisville.org/assets/Louisville_Energy_Future.pdf.
REAL is a non-profit, volunteer-only organization that works with the city of Louisville to implement its transition to 100% renewable energy. http://renewableenergylouisville.org