Is having local control of a utility the key to ramping up renewable energy?
In 2011, Boulder citizens voted to have their city take over the electric utility, joining one in seven Americans served by municipal electric utilities.
Their feasibility study suggests they can more than double renewable energy on their system to over 50%, slashing greenhouse gas emissions. A study in Santa Fe, NM, suggests a similar increase (to 45% clean energy) is possible, while reducing electricity costs.
Other cities, like Minneapolis, MN, are also studying the option.
Many of these communities are inspired by examples like Denton, TX, a municipal utility that already gets 40% of its power from renewable energy. The presentation to the Boulder city council is from Mike Grim, the head of the Denton city utility.