From John Shannon, who writes about green energy, sustainable development and economics. Email him at john[AT]borderstan.com.
Until now, U.S. government buildings in DC have had 50 percent of their electrical power needs met with wind-turbine powered electricity supplied by Washington Gas Energy Services (WGES) CleanSteps® WindPower. That percentage increased recently to 100 percent as part of the government’s renewable energy target and building efficiency improvement plan.
According to WGES, using 100 percent wind power for electricity means that the DC Government avoids using the equivalent of almost 32.8 million gallons of gasoline — equal to taking 61,000 cars off the road for a year. The world’s fastest-growing energy resource, wind power, displaces conventional power, reduces carbon dioxide and helps cut air pollution.
“Going green helps foster economic growth and creates modern and vibrant communities across the District of Columbia,” said Brian J. Hanlon, director, D.C. Department of General Services. “Our goals are to become more energy efficient and reduce our carbon emissions, and our strategic partnership with WGES is playing a role in helping us achieve these objectives.”
Even before this announcement, DC held the record among U.S. cities for the highest total renewable energy use at more than one billion kilowatt hours per year — or, 11.4 percent of it’s total electricity consumption. (For a complete breakdown of U.S. cities and their renewable energy use in 2012, see the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Green Power Community Challenge Rankings.)
“We have stated our mission for Washington, DC, to be the cleanest, greenest city in the nation, which includes the use of renewable energy for our power sources. We’re proud that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recognized Washington, DC, as the leading Green Power Community for our commitment to purchase green power,” said Keith Anderson, Director, District Department of the Environment
In his National Geographic NewsWatch piece, Sam Brooks, associate director of the DC Department of General Services and head of its Energy Division, said, “Conservative estimates indicate a long-term purchase of regional wind power could save more than $100 million over 20 years.”
What could be better than breathing clean air while saving $100 million?
Expert Voices: Sam Brooks, Associate Director of the Washington, DC DGS (National Geographic).
DC Government Agencies Switching to 100% Wind Energy (Scientific American).
Green Power Community Challenge Rankings (epa.gov).
Wind Powering America (windpoweringamerica.gov).
Wind Program (energyefficiencyrenewableenergy.gov).
Renewable Energy Hits the Roof (jbsnews.com).
- The U.S. Department of Energy funds R&D to develop wind energy. Learn about the DOE Wind Program, how to use wind energy and get financial incentives, and access wind energy information.
- In the District of Columbia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, businesses, organizations, government entities, institutions and residents can buy their electricity and natural gas supply from retail energy providers. Customers in Virginia may buy natural gas and customers in Delaware may buy electricity from retail energy providers. To learn more about WGES and its CleanSteps® products, visit WGES or call 1-888-884-9437.