Last week, Las Vegas became the largest city in the United States to get its energy from 100% renewable resources. This achievement has been a long time coming since the goal was announced in 2008, but Las Vegas is now the largest city in the United States run by renewable energy. The goal was reached with the opening of Boulder Solar 1, a large solar energy plant run by NV Energy near Las Vegas.
The mayor of Las Vegas, Carolyn G. Goodman, proclaimed, “This is a proud day for Las Vegas,” according to USA Today, saying that they are proud to be a “world leader in sustainability.”
In addition to off site solar plants, many solar panels have been added onto buildings like City Hall, parks, and roofs of buildings. More than 140 government facilities are now being run with renewable energy, including streetlights, and while many commercial and residential facilities are not, the city has majorly reduced its use of non-renewable energy with this advancement. Not only is this an amazing stepping stone in the battle against climate change, it will save the city around $5 million annually. The switch cost around $40 million, so the costs will have paid for themselves in 8 years.
Many other cities, including San Fransisco, San Diego, and San Jose, have also pledged to make the switch to 100% renewable energy in the coming years. This is tremendous news, as renewable energy is one of the best methods to reduce the effects of climate change, according to the NDRC. Hopefully, many other cities in the U.S., and eventually the world, will start to increase their use of renewable energy, in order to reduce the effects climate change is having on the globe.