The green tech revolution has scored a major victory in the fight to power our cities. Las Vegas is one of the newest (and largest) urban areas to now run their entire city government by renewables, including a large portion coming from solar energy.
The juice is enough to power the 140 buildings, streetlights and other facilities, carbon-free. The announcement comes a week after “Boulder Solar 1,” a large solar array, came online and began providing the cheap solar energy needed to make this a reality.
The city also harnesses power from hydroelectric turbines, including those in the Hoover Dam. The city is expected to save $5.0 million per yer as a result of this switch to green tech. (Source: “Las Vegas’s city government is now powered by 100% renewable energy, and more cities will follow,” Quartz, December 19, 2016.)
Solar energy’s multi-city fight to beat out fossil fuels is happening across the country. Smaller cities like Burlington, Vermont and Aspen, Colorado have already switched to 100% renewables through the use of hydro, sustainable wood-chip burning, solar energy, wind, and landfill gas.
As for Vegas, the push for solar power in everyone’s favorite desert of sin doesn’t end with the municipal buildings. Multiple casinos are reportedly pushing for solar power by installing panels on their roofs. After all, it seems a bit of a no-brainer, harnessing solar energy in a climate known for unrelenting sun.
There’s still a long way to go for the full solar energy revolution, and many are concerned that the incoming presidential administration won’t look kindly on renewables, but that doesn’t mean that green tech is going away. Far from it, it seems.
As more and more cities are choosing to fight back against the grid and rising energy costs, solar energy and other renewable solutions are poised to become not only cheaper as time goes on, but more attractive to consumers, with or without federal incentives.