Las Vegas Is The Largest US City Running On 100% Renewable Energy

In today’s day and age, renewable energy has been on the rise, specifically for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. It is also on the rise so that we as people of the world aren’t as dependent on nonrenewable resources, like oil and coal, which are sources that will diminish over time. About half of the renewable energy used in the U.S. is for the production of electricity. Renewable energy is defined as energy that can never run out, like solar and wind. Other sources of renewable energy include hydropower (from water), geothermal (from Earth’s heat), biomass (organic plant matter, wood waste, ethanol, landfill gas, etc.), and hydrogen. 

All politics aside, renewable sources of energy keep the planet clean, free from carbon and other pollutants in the air. It’s no surprise that many businesses are opting for renewable energy sources to fuel their company’s electricity needs. Taking it one step further, cities around the U.S. are pledging to make their government-funded properties reliant solely on renewable resources, like Las Vegas, Nevada. 

On Monday, December 19, 2016, Mayor Carolyn Goodman of Las Vegas, NV announced that the city of Las Vegas is officially running on 100% renewable energy. The largest U.S. city to utilize 100% renewable energy has reached their clean energy goal by powering government buildings, to parks and community centers. Starting in 2008, Las Vegas implemented solar panels around different areas of the city. To date, Las Vegas has reduced its energy consumption by over 30%, and saves approximately $5 million a year! Note: While the city’s government facilities are all powered by 100% renewable energy, many residences and non-government commercial businesses are not. 

Most of Las Vegas’ energy portfolio consists of geothermal and solar energy plants. The Boulder Solar 1 project was completed two weeks ago, comprising of a 100-megawatt solar plant residing near Boulder City. This project was the reason for Las Vegas’ ability to announce their 100% renewable energy success, after the plant went on-line on Friday, December 16th. The success for 100% renewable energy comes from a recent deal with NV Energy to power many of the city’s facilities.

Las Vegas isn’t stopping with solar power though while going carbon-free. By the end of 2017, Las Vegas will tap into hydropower with the help of the Hoover Dam. 

Renewable energy has taken over a good part of our country. Cities like Aspen, CO, Grand Rapids, MI, San Jose, CA, Burlington, VT, and San Diego, CA, just to name a few, have pledged to go 100% renewable as well, particularly the carbon-free and pollutant-free kind. Las Vegas’ initiative will definitely impact other cities all over the nation who want to implement renewable resources as well.

With Donald Trump coming to the White House, 48 mayors have already written a letter to the future President of the United States, asking for his support with their local climate change plans in the event the federal government decides not to support them.