Over the next 27 years, Gainesville will be running on a new kind of power.
At Thursday’s City Commission meeting a resolution was unanimously passed to ensure Gainesville will be running 100 percent on renewable energy and resources by 2045, said City Commissioner Adrian Hayes-Santos.
“Climate change is happening, and we need to start taking action now to ensure our environment is safe for future generations,” Hayes-Santos said.
Three percent of Florida’s utility resource energy comes from renewable resources. Gainesville’s is already higher at 27 percent, Hayes-Santos said. By 2045, Gainesville should be at 100 percent.
The resolution is nonbinding and isn’t the first of its kind. At least 84 other cities and two states — California and Hawaii — have also committed to becoming 100 percent renewable.
Renewable power for Gainesville comes from solar power and the biomass plant, Hayes-Santos said. Changes such as having electric or hybrid buses and cars, purchasing local electricity rather than depending on foreign oil and focusing on solar energy will be implemented over time, he said.
The year 2045 was chosen because it’s realistic, Hayes-Santos said.
“We thought that 2045 was not just an aspirational goal, but one we could achieve,” Hayes-Santos said.
Local groups such as the Suwannee - St. Johns Group Sierra Club, a group that promotes protecting natural resources, have advocated for this resolution to pass throughout the year, said Roberta Gastmeyer, the executive committee member of the organization.
It is important to make sure all the residents within the city are involved with this new energy transition, Gastmeyer said.
“We hope that all the residents in Gainesville share in the benefits of this new energy economy,” Gastmeyer said.