Local effort underway for total solar power

Photo Courtesy of Sustainable Tallahassee.

For centuries the sun has been the ultimate source of energy for the survival of the planet. Every day the sun gives off far more energy than we need to power everything on earth, but yet the world still does not fully utilize it.

The ongoing problem the planet is facing is an alarming high level of CO2 emissions and other contributing factors such as acid rain and air pollution. On Monday the Renewable Energy Advocacy Committee met to continue the discussion on expanding renewable production in the city of Tallahassee.

The goal of this committee is to focus on renewable energy generation, conservation, and reducing the use of gasoline and diesel while providing jobs and a more sustainable lifestyle.

A major focus during Monday evening’s roundtable discussion was to come up with a plan for the Tallahassee’s City Commission on how to move forward towards a 100 percent solar base community. As ideas bounced off person to person the committee’s objective is to create a practical yet straightforward and stern proposal for the city to agree to.

Tallahassee, the capital of Florida and growing in infrastructure, wants to serve as a role model for the rest of the state of Florida.

Leighanne Boone, chair of the Energy Advocacy Committee, believes that the capital jumping on board will serve as a tremendous milestone.

“The impact would mean joining other like-minded cities in this country and across the planet that believe climate change is real and believe that we can make a difference and that we have the technology now to get started,” Boone said.

As immense projects like the multimillion-dollar relocation of the Tallahassee Police Department headquarters begin to develop, a suggested energy conservation technique that was spoke on is Net Zero. Net Zero is an infrastructure option created for buildings to be able to produce enough energy to meet its own annual energy consumption.  

These committee meetings encourage the public to participate and contribute their viewpoints to the ongoing discussion. Gaile Hankinson, a Tallahassee resident who attended the meeting, said her passion for living a sustainable lifestyle is her concern for the planet.

“Me attending meetings and joining these committees is the necessary first steps to having a habitable planet for future generations and my grandchildren,” she said.

Jack Diestelharst, co-chair of the Energy Advocacy Committee, says that switching to solar energy means that we will have a livable planet.

“Climate change based off what I’ve read has caused many billions of dollars of property lost from sea level rise and many hundreds of thousands of human deaths. From changing climates,” he said.

As efforts are still in the proposal phase, the goal for this committee is to see major solar developments close to 100 percent by the year 2035.