A big thank-you to the visionary and courageous members of the Buncombe County [Board of Commissioners] who voted on Dec. 5 in favor of Brownie Newman’s proposal for 100 percent renewable energy for all municipal operations by 2030 and countywide by 2042!
Thanks to all who wrote, who called, who came and spoke. Huge thanks go to the high school and college students who collected over 1,800 signatures among them and spoke so earnestly and compellingly about their commitment to get to this goal. Thanks, Judy Mattox and Ken Brame of the Sierra Club, for helping to empower the students.
Brownie Newman, Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Al Whitesides and Ellen Frost voted in favor, and the three Republicans made speeches about how they support the environment before voting no. They just did not believe it would be possible to reach the target. And yet, whole countries are embracing similar goals. With the planned solar farm on the landfill and efficiency measures, we’ll already be at 48 percent — well along toward the goal.
NC WARN has created North Carolina Clean Path 2025, a plan for all of North Carolina to get off fossil fuels in the next 25 years through greatly increasing solar installations on homes and businesses, along with battery storage and energy efficiency. This plan calls for adding 2,000 megawatts of solar power each year at homes, businesses, schools and other buildings with cost-effective battery storage. The energy saved will save the county (and its residents) money.
Financing options, such as a leasing program, will put solar within reach. For example, under the solar lease model, the government would pay the upfront cost of a system and be repaid by the participant at a flat monthly rate over time. Sixteen thousand good jobs would be created statewide in the first three years, according to the plan’s author, engineer Bill Powers. Please visit www.ncwarn.org/cp25.
Let’s make it happen!
— Cathy Holt