HomeLettersIt’s Time for City to Embrace Zero-Carbon Energy

It’s Time for City to Embrace Zero-Carbon Energy

The Dec. 16 Glendale News-Press article about the Glendale Water & Power’s 20-year plan lacks a critical perspective on the issue of power planning in Glendale: The importance of environmental activism.
We should be celebrating! Our public utility is finally required to follow the guidelines set by our City Council in a resolution adopted August 2022 to achieve 100% zero carbon by 2035. This is the way our city government is set up. We elect a City Council based on policies the public wants. They strive to understand issues as they affect their constituents. They work with staff (GWP) to understand the technical complexities. Then they make decisions on how Staff should proceed.
The article states that the City Council rejected GWP’s plan (Scenario 1) to achieve 100% clean energy by 2045. But it does not mention that Scenario 1 uses natural gas power plants that emit substantial CO2. That is not 100% clean.
In the article, the News-Press spends way too much time explaining GWP’s defense of their 2045 plan.
Two arguments are put forward in the article to defend GWP’s decision to disregard the City Council’s directive.
1) The hydrogen infrastructure is untested and potentially extremely expensive. The problem is that to reach 100% clean energy, every plan will eventually require hydrogen (or another new technology). GWP’s Scenario 1 never reaches 100% clean.
2) The cost of Scenario 4 was projected to be substantially higher than Scenario 1, but in reality, it is only 10% higher if one includes the cost to the environment and the excess energy available for sale. With a 20-year plan, technology will outpace the cost differences as demand for clean energy increases. When you calculate the cost of climate disasters and climbing natural gas prices, the small differences disappear.
Most importantly, this article made no mention of the citizens’ fight over clean energy for the last six years that has changed power planning in Glendale. The time to embrace the future and move to zero-carbon energy with rooftop solar, battery storage, energy efficiency and demand response in a big way is now.

Jack Walworth

First published in the December 23 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.

Most Popular

[bsa_pro_ad_space id=3]