Atlanta is the 27th city in the country to commit to transition to 100% clean and renewable energy.
The Atlanta City Council on Monday, 1 May 2017 unanimously approved a measure introduced by Councilman Kwanza Hall that establishes a community-wide goal of transitioning to 100% renewable energy by 2035. The resolution also directs the Atlanta Office of Sustainability to develop a plan by January 2018 to meet the 100% renewable energy goal across all city operations by 2025 and community-wide by 2035.
Atlanta represents the first city in Georgia and the biggest southern city to commit to 100 percent clean, renewable energy.
Atlanta and the State of Georgia have made strides in recent years by expanding renewable energy like solar.
According to the Department of Energy, solar makes up the largest share of Georgia energy generation jobs. 5,261 work in Georgia’s clean energy sector compared with 2,535 across all fossil fuels industries. According to Environment America, the City of Atlanta ranks 40th out of the 50 most populous U.S. cities in the total amount of solar installed.
Last summer, the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) approved Georgia Power Company’s latest long-term energy plan. The final plan—agreed to through a settlement agreement between the utility, commission staff, and several other parties, including the Sierra Club—represented the largest increase in renewable energy ever in Georgia.
The Sierra Club urged the Georgia Public Service Commission to require local utility Georgia Power to expand their proposed Renewable Energy Development Initiative. Initially, Georgia Power proposed to add just 525 new megawatts of wind and solar between by 2020. The final plan tripled that amount up to 1,600 megawatts of new renewable energy, mostly solar, by 2021.
Groups and community partners supporting Atlanta’s 100% clean energy resolution include the Sierra Club Georgia Chapter, Environment Georgia, Rev. Dr. Gerald L Durley, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, Partnership for Southern Equity, Georgia Organics, Georgia Coalition for the People's Agenda Clean, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Georgia Watch, Georgia NAACP, Hannah Solar, EV Club of the South, Solar Crowd Source, Georgia, Solar Energy Association, Spelman College, Mothers and Others for Clean Air, HBCU Green Fund, Georgia Chapter of the US Green Building Council.