Los Angeles to Stop Using Coal by 2020
The mayor of Los Angeles declared that from 2020 onwards Los Angeles will completely eliminate the use of power generated by burning coal and go for alternative energy sources such as wind and sun. In his inaugural speech for his second four-year term as mayor he said, “LADWP will deliver 40 percent renewable power, with the remainder coming from natural gas, nuclear, and large hydroelectric.”
LADWP stands for Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and it is the largest city-owned utility in the United States with 1.45 million electricity customers. The department has already been taking strides towards a cleaner energy usage during Villaraigosa’s first term. While renewable energy made up only three percent of LA’s power supply in 2005, as of July last year the figure was 8.5% and the city is on track to have 20% by 2010.
Although California does not have power plants that use coal, 40% of its current energy demand is being met by coal-fired power plants located out of the state. Based on 1990 levels LAWDWP aims to cut its carbon emission by up to 60% by 2020.
“We applaud Mayor Villaraigosa’s bold decision to move Los Angeles beyond coal,” said Bruce Nilles, director of the Sierra Club’s efforts to end coal-fired power plants. “The decision to replace coal with cleaner energy alternatives is key to boosting job creation and economic growth.”
Along with reducing carbon emissions the city also plans to reduce the use of power by 1% every year for the next 10 years. This will be achieved not by using less power but using the available power efficiently.
The non-coal-generated power is going to be a bit more expensive and will go beyond the current benchmark of 12 cents per kilowatt-hour. But this is a very small price to pay to keep the planet cleaner and healthier for present and future generations.