Earlier this month, it was announced that Costa Rica managed to power 75 consecutive days using only renewable sources, and now Georgetown, a small metropolis in Texas with a population of around 50,000, has pledged to ditch fossil fuels for good by 2017.
The plan is for the Georgetown authorities to purchase energy from local wind and solar farm facilities, and take advantage of Texas's consistently high temperatures throughout the day, and the super-windy nights. They estimate that these sources alone will be enough to power them 100 percent of the time, with the added bonus of saving precious water in the desert state.
"At the beginning of last year, Georgetown made a deal with EDF Renewable Energy to acquire about 75 percent of the output of the 194-megawatt Spinning Spur 3 wind farm, now under construction in West Texas, for 20 years. That accounts for about half of the utility's needs.
Last week, it announced it would purchase the output of two large solar plants, with a combined capacity of 150 megawatts, that Sun Edison will build in West Texas, for 25 years. That'll cover the rest, ensuring the 104-year-old utility at least 20 years of emissions-free electricity."
As Gross wryly notes, it's not so much altruism that's the driving force behind the big move towards renewables - coal is simply getting too expensive, and the desert state is running out of the water needed to extract power from it. He reports that much of the US has been suffering through a rough over the past several years, and 56 percent of Texas is now abnormally dry.
Whatever the reason behind it, it's an awesome move, and if governments want to resort to renewables for no other reason than saving money, I'm sure the environment and our future generations will be more than cool with that.