Los Angeles hits 20% renewable energy share in total power consumption

(ADPnews) - Jan 17, 2011 - The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) and the city's mayor last week announced that in 2010 Los Angeles reached its target of bringing 20% of all consumed power from green energy sources.

In 2005 mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the LADWP promised to boost the use of renewable energy sources to 20% by 2010 from 5% at that time. The 4,500 GWh of clean power that are now generated are enough to meet the needs of 750,000 households. The installations are saving 2.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year, or as much as 490,000 cars would produce.

The exact percentage of renewable energy contribution stands at 19.7%, but the California Energy Commission (CEC) process is to round up to the closest percentage. Wind power accounts for nearly half of LA's generated green energy, while 30% and 1%, respectively, come from hydroelectricity and solar power. Geothermal and biofuel facilities bring 22% of the produced clean energy. Among the largest facilities that came online in the past five years is the Pine Tree wind farm, touted as the biggest wind power park owned by a municipal utility in the USA.

Furthermore, LADWP has managed to cut CO2 emissions to 22% below 1990 figures thanks to the addition of renewable energy capacity, the replacement of old power facilities with more efficient and cleaner ones and the increasing energy efficiency among customers. From 2006 to the present day, LADWP's customers have saved enough power to offset 343,000 tonnes of CO2 each year. At present, the city saves 3% of its power consumption through energy efficiency and LADWP projects that it will manage to save a further 7% by 2020.

At the close of 2010, coal accounted for only 39% of LA's energy portfolio. LADWP is working to divest the Navajo station in Arizona by 2014 which will result in a further 26% drop in CO2 emissions.

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Browse all articles from Tsvetomira Tsanova

Tsvet has been following the development of the global renewable energy industry for almost nine years. She's got a soft spot for emerging markets.

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