The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will vote on a resolution to adopt LEED Gold standards for new public facilities over 10,000 square feet and major renovations. The county’s policy would also require all new buildings to be constructed with solar-ready design and achieve net-zero energy use “where feasible.”
“This is a call to action for the citizens of North Carolina to contact their legislators and demand a necessary change to support 100% renewable energy by 2050.”
As outlined in a presentation available before the meeting by Jeremiah LeRoy, the county’s sustainability officer, the projects could save Buncombe County, A-B Tech, Asheville City Schools and Buncombe County Schools roughly $27.2 million in total electricity costs over the next 30 years.
“This is an emergency — we should act like it!”
“However, instead of asking how to get to 100% renewables, we need to refine the question to how can we reduce our energy demand so that we can get to 100% renewables.”
“The worldwide strike on Friday, Sept. 20, will demand that our elected leaders stop business as usual and respond positively and immediately to the climate disruption crisis now upon us.”
The $100,000 report, commissioned from Massachusetts-based consultants The Cadmus Group, finds that local government action will be insufficient for Asheville and Buncombe County to run operations entirely on renewable energy by their goal date of 2030 without the purchase of renewable energy certificates or significant state-level regulatory changes.
More than 30 bands on three stages plus classes covering everything from aquaponics to regenerative agriculture practices are on the schedule for the three-day festival.
“Council cannot claim to be transit advocates while leaving evening service behind. We must include all routes to 10 p.m. and Sunday and holiday service to 8 p.m.”
“Clay Swan-Davis, a panelist and student at Asheville High School, acknowledged that youths are the voice of reason and conscience when it comes to confronting ecological destruction.”
“A major investment in electric public transportation will make a huge difference in equity and in achieving our goal of 100% renewable energy! So I invite all who value both social and environmental justice to insist on funding for great, electrified public transportation.”
During a March 14 listening session at The Collider in downtown Asheville about the DEQ’s Clean Energy Plan, a key provision of Gov. Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 80 on clean energy and climate change, many of the roughly 70 Western North Carolina residents in attendance expressed frustration that the state wasn’t doing enough.
“If we desire democratic rights for ourselves and our children, this is the very moment that we must shed our tendency of quiet civility and shout, collectively, loud enough that the court in Washington is aware that American citizens will accept nothing short of the legacy the Continental Congress intended for us after blood was shed for this nation’s freedom.”
Twelve years: That’s how long humanity has left to hold global warming below the key level of 1.5 degrees Celsius, according to an October report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In light of that sobering reality, these developments from 2018 had the biggest potential impact on Asheville’s contribution to climate change.
“Now Asheville has joined the community of cities and counties taking responsibility for the climate into their own hands, rather than waiting for our state or national government to take the lead.”
The new facility’s planned retirement is in 2059 — 17 years after Buncombe County government’s 2042 goal of transitioning all homes and businesses to completely renewable energy. Jason Walls, Duke Energy district manager, said his company is committed to helping local governments achieve their goals but that the new plant’s construction is based on forecasts of growing energy needs.
The resolution would commit city government to meeting all of its energy needs from 100 percent renewable sources by the end of 2030. A previous version also called for all energy demand in the city to make the renewable transition “as soon as practicable,” but this goal is absent from the language Council will vote to approve.
“Asheville can lead this charge starting by the City Council committing to a green fleet by 2030. This commitment is an important benchmark in Buncombe County’s goal of being 100 percent renewable by 2042, including government operations, personal vehicles, homes and businesses.”
“We have to think ‘globally’ about the source of our energy use in order to combat the imminent and extraordinary financial, social and public health costs that will inevitably arise from fires, floods and rising temperatures here in the WNC mountains.”
With the county’s commitment to running all county operations off renewable energy by 2030 still an open question, Buncombe County is poised to take a step this week towards fulfilling that goal.
The plurality of Asheville city government’s greenhouse gas emissions in fiscal year 2017 — roughly 9,100 tons — came from burning fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas, to create electricity. That number could drop to zero by the end of the next decade, however, should Asheville adopt a resolution currently under development by the city’s Sustainability Advisory Committee on Energy and the Environment.