South Lake Tahoe First City Nationwide to Establish Goal of Having 100% Carbon-Free Renewable Electricity 24/7 by 2030
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, CA, December 7, 2021 – The City of South Lake Tahoe has become the first U.S. city to adopt a community-wide goal of achieving 100 percent renewable, carbon-free electricity 24 hours a day, seven days a week by 2030. The City Council unanimously adopted a resolution on Dec. 7 aspiring toward this goal and providing direction to become only the third city in the U.S. to join the United Nations (UN) 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy Compact (CFE).
Similar resolutions have been adopted by corporations and municipalities. Google, Inc. has committed to achieving the goal of powering their operations on a region-specific, 24/7 basis with zero-carbon energy by 2030. The City of Des Moines, IA adopted a resolution earlier this year, committing to a community-wide goal of achieving 100 percent electricity from carbon-free sources, 24/7, by 2035. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) also adopted a plan this year to power all of their operations with zero-carbon sources by 2030. South Lake Tahoe now has the most ambitious goal for a municipality in the nation, matching the timelines of Google and SMUD.
In September 2021, the UN assembled the 24/7 CFE, which brings together a diverse group of stakeholders, and currently includes only two municipalities. South Lake Tahoe will be the third U.S. city (following Ithaca, NY and Des Moines, IA) to join the 24/7 CFE. The Compact seeks to accelerate the decarbonization of electricity grids and achieve net-zero emissions economies. Council Member John Friedrich stated, “by joining the 24/7 CFE Compact, South Lake Tahoe has committed to be a leader in renewable energy policy adoption. I encourage my city council colleagues throughout California and nationwide to join us in taking the bold steps necessary to tackle climate change for our children and grandchildren.”
Mayor Devin Middlebrook stated, “today is a milestone in the history of South Lake Tahoe. Passing this resolution and working diligently toward 100% carbon-free electricity 24/7 by 2030 has never been more important. On the heels of the devastating Caldor Fire that significantly impacted the Tahoe Basin, the escalating implications of climate change are undeniable. This represents the bold, urgent action that our community needs.”
The Dec. 7 resolution reaches beyond the goals set in the City’s Resolution 2017-26, aspiring to reach 100% carbon-free electricity at all times by 2030 instead of by 2032. In addition, the specification of the sourcing of the energy and the 24/7 availability of energy from carbon-free sources are key distinctions. Rather than a goal of carbon neutrality, wherein credits may be purchased to offset local emissions, this resolution sets a goal of 100 percent decarbonization of the grid. Fundamentally, every kilowatt-hour of electricity demand would be served by carbon-free electricity sources, at every hour of every day from sources connected to the local distribution grid. With the adoption of the resolution and by joining the UN’s 24/7 CFE, the City commits to exploring a suite of local, renewable energy options. “As the City Manager, it is exciting to have the opportunity to work on such an important goal. I look forward to working with our partners and the City Council on our journey toward 100% renewable, carbon-free electricity 24/7 by 2030,” stated Joe Irvin.
Carbon-free, renewable energy sources include, but are not limited to, wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, and hydropower. Exclusively using these energy sources at all times would eliminate the emission of carbon generated from South Lake Tahoe’s electricity supply altogether, rather than compensating for emissions through carbon offsetting.
City of South Lake Tahoe
The City of South Lake Tahoe is a general law city in El Dorado County, CA, that was founded on November 30, 1965. Located 190 miles northeast of San Francisco, CA and 60 miles southwest of Reno, NV in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, South Lake Tahoe boasts one of the most unique settings in the world, at the edge of an alpine lake of great natural beauty and environmental value. The city limits encompass an area of approximately 16 square miles with an average elevation of 6,200 feet above sea level and a population of 22,525.