Today, the Madison Common Council formally approved the city’s commitment to transition to 100 percent clean, renewable energy across all sectors including electricity, heating, and transportation. Madison represents the first city in Wisconsin and the biggest city in the Midwest to make a community-wide 100 percent clean energy commitment.
“I look forward to working with residents, schools, churches, businesses and our local utility as we begin transitioning to clean energy, community-wide. The benefits of a transition to 100% clean energy are many. These goals will drive a clean energy economy that creates local jobs, provides affordable and sustainable electricity, and results in cleaner air and water. I am proud to be a part of this council that has made the historic commitment that will lead our community to a more sustainable future,” said Alder Zach Wood.
In an important first step towards achieving the community-wide 100 percent clean energy goal, the Madison Common Council vote allocated $250,000 to develop a plan by January 18, 2018 for city operations to achieve goals of 100 percent renewable energy and net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. This plan will include target dates for reaching these goals, interim milestones, and budget estimates for the transition.
Sierra Club Senior Campaign Representative Elizabeth Katt Reinders said, “Madison can help lead the Midwest with this bold commitment to 100 percent renewable energy, but we cannot do it alone. Our community has shown incredible support for moving beyond dirty fossil fuels. Today our city took that vital action, but Madison Gas & Electric must also be a key player in realizing this vision which will create more jobs and opportunity, reduce the burden of high electricity costs on residents and businesses, and protect our families from pollution. We’re hopeful Madison Gas & Electric will heed the calls of community leaders and residents throughout our city by committing to move beyond dirty fuels and working with us to achieve our community’s goals of 100 percent clean and renewable energy.”
Madison Gas & Electric currently gets, on average, 88% of its power generation from fossil fuel sources, including 68% coming from coal-fired generation. Only 12% is from renewables.
“Tonight’s vote for 100% clean energy shows a commitment to the future. This vote is for our children and grandchildren. The work ahead will take many willing hands, decisions and some sacrifice, but the result is so worth it. The future became brighter tonight because of the vote for clean energy. Madison residents can look forward to a stronger, cleaner and healthier place for all to live,” said Alder Denise DeMarb.