Energy Production

Focus Area 3: Energy Production

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Broadly speaking, the use of fossil fuels for energy (including electricity, heating, transportation, and other uses) is the single largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. In the State of Georgia, burning fossil fuel supplies a considerable share of energy for electricity, heating, transportation, and other energy-producing uses. Emissions from fossil fuel combustion for energy, including transportation, represent 95 percent of the community’s total GHG emissions. Energy Production is a cross-cutting focus area in that nearly all activities that take place in the community require energy of some sort. While Georgia Power is working to increase the percentage of electricity generated through renewable sources, opportunities also exist for citizens and the city to produce small-scale renewable energy or fuels, offsetting the need for fossil fuels. This focus area is limited to energy production exclusively. Objectives and strategies that focus on end-use energy efficiency are included in other focus areas. The programs and projects within this focus area are designed to spur local government and community investment in renewable energy sources including those that produce electricity, heat, and mobile fuels.

Building a Solar Atlanta

According to Environment Georgia, Atlanta can meet 10 percent of its total electricity needs with solar power by 2030, including potential for solar hot water systems for 40,000 Atlantans[1].

According to the study, utilizing rooftop space with suitable sun exposure could technically produce nearly 1,400MW by 2030, which would increase solar generation up to 21 percent of the city’s total forecast electricity use in that year.

To achieve this goal, Environment Georgia proposes an increase of the solar market by an average of 38 percent per year. This rate has been demonstrated to be possible in other states such as in California (54 percent) and New Jersey (79 percent).

Combined rooftop solar and solar water heating installations can potentially save more than 712,000 mTCO2e by 2030. Furthermore, the increasing solar power in Atlanta could make the city a leader in the region for the solar power industry, create jobs, and boost the economy.

Objectives Reduction Potential
Encouraging the production and use of clean local energy by 10% of the total 2009 Energy consumption by 2030 low-impact
Strategies Supports Adaptation Community/Government Reduction Potential
EP 1-Facilitate Renewable Energy Investment Y Both low-impact
EP 2-Supply 10% of City of Atlanta local government electricity demand via local renewable generation Y Government low-impact
EP 1-Facilitating Renewable Energy Investment low-impact
Build local small-scale renewable energy systems and capacity
EP-1A Encourage community partners to finance and install renewable systems in private facilities Status
Provide incentives for the inclusion of clean/renewable energy in new community development plans or facilities.

Engage with universities to perform resource and technical assessments to identify the best type and configuration of clean energy to install in various parts of the city. With resource assessment information available, local contractors and residents will have an important tool to support the installation of renewable energy sources (e.g., the Spatial Planning tool developed by the Geographic Information System at Georgia Tech).

Educate/facilitate dialogue among contractors and private owners to increase renewable capacity.

early
EP-1B Establish energy financing districts; offer renewable energy system financing to small commercial properties Status
Build Financing Stakeholder Group (community local banks, buildings, finance, legal departments, utility experts); Identify financing vehicles, scope, appropriate funds/financing; Address legal barriers; Establish Program; Conduct Outreach early
EP 2-Local Government Renewable Energy low-impact
Supply 10% of City of Atlanta local government energy demand via renewable sources
EP-2A Install renewable energy systems on City of Atlanta-owned facilities such that 10% of total energy demand of local government buildings is met. Status
Install renewable energy systems on City of Atlanta-owned facilities such that 10% of total energy demand of local government buildings is met early

[1] Environment Georgia. (2013). A Bright Future: Building a Solar Atlanta.

Questions? e-mail Jairo H Garcia, Sustainability Management Analyst at jhgarcia@AtlantaGa.Gov