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Obtaining Clean Energy from the Sun

The Clean Energy Summit, organized by the D.C. Public Service Commission in late September, brought together a large number of energy specialists to debate the best ways to extend the use of renewable and greener energy throughout the city. Lower-income neighbourhoods, and particularly communities of color, “bear the hardest repercussions of climate change,” according to Kenyan McDuffie, a member of the District of Columbia’s Council of Councils (D-Ward 5).

As part of the panel discussions, representatives from the energy business described how their work is helping to pave a more renewable and sustainable road to clean energy in the city and across the country. City and federal industry executives convened and exchanged thoughts on how they may work together to improve the situation of clean energy in the United States of America.

Managing director in charge of the DC Sustainable Energy Utility Ted Trabue said his office’s goal is to cut local electric consumption by one percent per year and natural gas use by approximately.75 percent per year. His department has installed more solar systems in Ward 7 than it has in Ward 3, and they have implemented upwards of 1,000 solar systems for the local residents whose income qualifies them for subsidies, according to him.

“A further 6,000 income-qualified residents are projected to receive subscriptions to community solar systems by the end of the year [and] thereby reduce their electric bill by half for the following 15 years,” he continued. Following the conclusion of the Clean Energy Summit, a discussion was held on how well the federal government is responding to the continuing fight for clean energy.

The work being done, according to Kelly Speakes-Backman, principal deputy assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Energy, is making a contribution to the decarbonizing electric grid, decarbonizing the industrial segment, minimizing the carbon footprint of building structures, decarbonizing the agriculture sector, and decarbonizing the transportation sector, the latter of which contributes to the nation’s highest levels of greenhouse gas emissions, she adds.

The White House Council on Environmental Quality’s Dr Cecilia Martinez, who serves as the senior director in charge of the environmental justice at White House Council on Environmental Quality, says, “First and foremost, it is critical to recognize that, while significant progress has been made in the fields of energy, climate, and environmental justice, there is still much more work to be done and will be done.”

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