The Albuquerque, N.M., City Council has unanimously passed a resolution to create a new solar energy standard for city facilities.
The resolution says, “The City of Albuquerque recognizes the benefits provided through solar energy for improving environmental health, public health and growing the economy and desires to renew its commitment to this important clean energy solution by establishing the goal of generating 25 percent of energy for city facilities from solar power by 2025.”
In a local KOB4 report, Pat Davis, a city councilor and sponsor of the resolution, pointed out that although a few city buildings currently have solar, much more could be done to increase Albuquerque’s clean energy efforts.
“We have 300 days of sunshine,” Davis said. “Why haven’t we done this before?”
According to the resolution, the measure orders the Energy Conservation Council to submit an implementation plan for the new solar standard by the end of next year’s second quarter.
Meanwhile, nonprofit group Environment America, which says its New Mexico chapter helped advocate for Albuquerque’s new target, has launched a nationwide campaign to convince other cities and local governments to generate much more of their power from the sun. According to the group, the “Shining Cities” campaign will engage and mobilize thousands of Environment America members, volunteers and supporters to convince local governments to expand the use of solar power.
“When cities like Albuquerque lead by example on solar, even more will follow,” said Bret Fanshaw, Environment America’s solar program coordinator. “On the heels of this victory, we know that our Shining Cities campaign can spark a solar revolution in cities and counties across America. We urge local leaders to set ambitious goals for generating solar power and create smart programs to reach those goals.”
The Shining Cities campaign aims to get at least 20 localities to go big on solar by the end of 2017. This fall, Environment America and its state affiliates have set their sights on half a dozen cities and counties in Georgia, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington state.