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My Turn: A renewable energy vision for Concord



For the Monitor
Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Communities across the nation are embracing a renewable energy future, choosing to embark on an ambitious path to achieve 100 percent renewable energy generation by 2050. The city of Concord has an opportunity to join this movement, and the Concord Energy and Environment Committee will formally launch the Ready for 100 percent Renewable Energy Campaign this Saturday, Oct. 14, at the State House.

The commitment to a 100 percent renewable energy future includes all energy generation with the community and is not confined to municipal operation only. Concord city government has already made significant progress in pursuing sustainable energy practices, implementing energy efficiency efforts in city buildings, installing more efficient LED lighting for streetlights, installing solar thermal panels at fire stations and purchasing Renewable Energy Credits from Midwest wind energy producers. All of these initiatives are forward-looking efforts that produce economic benefits and save Concord taxpayers money.

The Ready for 100 Campaign will build upon these efforts, involving the entire community and encompassing both the municipal and residential sectors to move toward renewable operations in all respects – electricity, heating and cooling, and transportation.

The benefits of communities moving toward 100 percent renewable energy include enhanced economic development and job creation opportunities through the development of clean-energy sources, a better ability to predict and control energy costs, and improvements in human health as a result of reductions in carbon pollution. As the state capital of New Hampshire, Concord should continue to take a strong leadership role in moving toward a clean energy future.

Concord Mayor Jim Bouley has signed the Climate Mayors agreement to uphold the goals of the Paris climate agreement, joining nearly 400 mayors around the nation who are committing to local action to meet the challenges of climate change, through supporting policies to move Concord toward a renewable energy future. The Ready for 100 Campaign will help to provide a roadmap over the coming years to develop specific strategies to meet these ambitious but achievable goals, complementing the growing community support for these actions.

Please join the Concord Energy and Environment Committee for the kickoff of the Concord Ready for 100 Percent Renewable Energy Campaign from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday at the State House. We look forward to seeing you there, and invite the Concord community to become involved in this important effort.

(Rob Werner is a city councilor in Concord and chair of the Concord Energy and Environment Committee.)