The town of Nederland is poised to become the 42nd community in the country to commit to achieving 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030.
But Mayor Kristopher Larsen says he thinks the town can reach the target much sooner than that.
“From what we can see with climate change and the accelerating rate of change, we don’t have 13 years to wait,” Larsen said. “I’m going to argue that we should set a goal more on the order of five years from now.”
Nederland’s Board of Trustees meets Tuesday to consider making the commitment, and Larsen expects a unanimous approval.
Should that happen, Nederland will become the fourth city in Colorado to commit to the 2030 target, joining Boulder, Aspen and Pueblo. Breckenridge will likely be added to that list, when its elected officials consider a resolution Aug. 22.
This is not the first time that Nederland has attempted these kinds of targets in the past — the town recently adopted a resolution supporting the Paris climate accord — but the timing hasn’t often been right, said Eryka Thorley, of the citizen group Climate Together Nederland.
“All of this started a long time ago, with many resolutions for renewable energy that have been proposed and approved by our Board of Trustees, but when it came down to actually implementing, there’s always been hurdles,” said Thorley, whose group pushed the current resolution.
Nederland, like Boulder, is a customer of Xcel Energy, which complicates the town’s plan to get to its soon-to-be-adopted goal.
Currently, renewables make up just less than a quarter of Xcel Colorado’s total energy portfolio. Even if Xcel achieves a 60 percent mark by 2030 — a best-case estimate far from a guarantee for a company committed to coal through 2070 — communities such as Nederland and Boulder will still have to bridge a large gap to reach the 2030 target.
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