Commission asks Columbia to work toward 100 percent renewable electricity generation

May 13, 2013

Columbia’s Environment and Energy Commission is asking the city to increase the percentage of power generated from renewable sources by two percent every year. The goal is to reach 100 percent by the middle of the century.

In 2012, 7.94 percent of electricity in Columbia was generated from renewable sources. The existing standard requires the use of renewable sources reach 10 percent by 2017, and 15 percent by the end of 2022.

“The state goal is 15% by 2021.” EEC Member Dick Parker said, “So, Columbia, though it is doing better than other cities in Missouri, is not doing very well on a national level.”

Parker said half of the states in the country have renewable energy goals, and only two of them have goals lower than Columbia.

In 2012, about 8 percent of Columbia electricity was generated from renewable sources. Now, the Columbia Municipal Power Plant burns waste wood along with coal. The city also purchases wind energy and solar energy from nearby energy companies.

Parker said if the city approves the plan, it will expand the contract with a solar energy supplier for additional energy.