On Nov. 16, the city held an open house to provide information about carefully selected renewable-energy options that might enable the city to increase its current 75 percent or so renewable-energy component to 100 percent. One obvious alternative was conspicuously absent.
The city's utilities operation serves less than 50 percent of the city's needs. Therefore, even if the city's utilities operations were 100-percent renewable, there would remain a large part of the city not supplied by renewable energy. This illustrates that the effort to go 100 percent renewable is a charade and only symbolic.
The city could achieve its 100 percent renewable goal overnight simply by reducing its service area by 25 percent and turning that part over to another provider. In a flash, the city could proclaim 100 percent renewability and declare victory.
Some doubtless consider this suggestion cynical. They miss the point. The city never would consider this simple and easy suggestion because the city would lose utility revenues (money) and sheer scope by adopting this suggestion.
But if the city government truly values the symbolism of 100 percent renewables more highly than money and scope, it would adopt this idea in a heartbeat. So who is cynical?