Rep. Schofield Seeks 100% Clean, Renewable Energy in Georgia
(APN) ATLANTA — The State of Georgia has finally joined the national conversation around transitioning to a one hundred percent clean, renewable energy portfolio, with the introduction of House Resolution 70 by State Rep. Kim Schofield (D-Atlanta).
HR 70 is co-sponsored by some 29 House Members.
If adopted, the resolution would set Georgia on a path to an economy powered by one hundred percent clean and renewable energy by mid-century.
“I’m proud to bring this critical clean energy vision to the Georgia General Assembly,” State Rep. Schofield said in a press release.
“Georgia does not have time to waste, we need to reduce our climate footprint, clean up our communities, and put our people to work with good green jobs today. An equitable clean energy transition gives our kids and communities a chance at the future. We must commit to one hundred percent clean energy.”
To date, the cities of Atlanta, Augusta, Clarkston, and Savannah, Georgia; along with Athens-Clarke County, Georgia, have made one hundred percent clean and renewable energy commitments.
HR 70 is the first call for statewide action on a one hundred percent clean energy future, according to Environment Georgia.
The 2050 date is in line with the deadline that the world’s top climate scientists have given in order to keep global warming below 1.5 Celsius and to avert the worst impacts of climate change.
“From increased flooding to record high temperatures and more intense storms, Georgians across the political spectrum are already experiencing the terrifying impacts of global warming,” Jennette Gayer, Director of Environment Georgia, said in a statement.
“We applaud Rep. Schofield for setting this visionary resolution in motion and starting a statewide push for one hundred percent clean and renewable energy.”
GEORGIA’S CURRENT ENERGY PORTFOLIO
As of year-end 2020, Georgia Power has 2,560 MW of renewable resources online, not including hydroelectric power, according to an analysis conducted by Georgia Power on behalf of Atlanta Progressive News.
Of this 2,560 MW Renewable capacity online, Solar Energy represents more than 1,832 MW, Biomass Energy represents 478MW, and Wind Energy represents 250 MWs.
This accounts for some twelve percent of Georgia Power’s capacity mix that is considered renewable: nine percent for solar, two percent for biomass, and one percent for wind.
As of year-end 2020, Hydroelectric Power accounted for another approximately 1,100 MW of Georgia Power’s total generation, comprising another five percent of Georgia Power’s total energy portfolio.
Thus, Georgia Power currently has the capacity to derive seventeen percent of its current energy mix from renewable sources when including Hydro.
Georgia Power is currently planning to procure an additional 2,260 MW of renewable resources and 80 MW of battery storage through a combination of Utility-Scale and Distributed Generation RFP’s, Commission-approved programs, and self-owned assets, the company told APN.
If the current Integrated Resource Plan is implemented as approved, then Georgia Power’s renewable energy capacity, excluding hydroelectric power, will grow to approximately 5,500 MW by 2025, or twenty-two percent of the total portfolio: twenty percent solar, one percent wind, and one percent biomass.
Georgia Power also forecasts just over 6,600 MW of hydroelectric resources, or five percent of the total portfolio, to be online in 2025. Thus, the company’s total renewable capacity, including hydro, is expected to grow to 27 percent by 2025.
Renewable energy projections beyond 2025 will be significantly impacted by the 2022 IRP, filed next January.
GEORGIA’S RENEWABLE ENERGY JOURNEY
Georgia Power had a negligible amount of solar energy online prior to 2011. Then in 2011, the PSC adopted their first Large-scale Solar Program (LSS), which brought 50 MW of solar into the plan.
Then in 2012, Georgia Power proposed what it called the Advanced Solar Initiative, to add another 210 MW, which the PSC approved.
With the IRP that was up for consideration in 2013, Georgia Power and the PSC agreed to an additional 525 MW of solar power – a victory that Atlanta Progressive News noted was the result of an unusual coalition of environmentalists and Tea Party Patriots in Georgia.
As of Atlanta Progressive News’s reporting in 2016, Georgia Power had 866 MW of renewable energy–including wind, solar, and biomass–currently online.
Of this renewable energy, as of 2016, 250 MW were from wind; 353 MW were from solar; and 263 were from biomass.
Thus the growth of renewable energy in Georgia over the last decade has been exponential. For example, for solar energy alone: 2011 (50 MW approved), 2012 (260 MW total approved), 2013 (585 MW total approved), 2016 (353 MW online), 2020 (1,832 MW online), 2025 (5,000 MW projected).
(END / Copyright Atlanta Progressive News / 2021)