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The growing 24/7 carbon-free energy movement

Recently, I was reading an article on 100percentiowa.com about Iowa cities joining the growing 24/7 carbon-free energy movement. Des Moines and Waterloo are two Iowa cities that have been a part of the movement, but recently Windsor Heights, Iowa joined them. Windsor Heights is the first city in Iowa to announce the carbon-free electricity target to be accomplished by 2030. They are the fifth city in the U.S. to make this goal for themselves. Windsor Heights wants the entire town to be powered by emission-free clean energy sources, such as wind and solar power, around the clock. The proposal was introduced to the city council on October 17 th , 2022, and had other environmental goals attached to it. Windsor Heights also wants to transition the city vehicles to electric vehicles, installing electric vehicle charging stations at city facilities, and working with MidAmerican to encourage energy efficiency to reduce usage and waste. Windsor Heights is a smaller town in Iowa with a population of about 5,100 people. It is not common to see a town so small taking such big steps. It is inspiring to see small towns in the Midwest taking this kind of action.

Decarbonization of our electricity is extremely important for humanity as we get deeper into the effects of climate change. Electricity is a major contributor to our global emissions (about 25%). A recent report from the United Nations, states that we need to reduce our emissions 45% by 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Iowa has a long way to go to get to 24/7 carbon free electricity, but we have made strides. The state energy profile analysis states that in 2021, 58% of Iowa’s total electricity net generation came from wind, that is a higher share than any other state. It is refreshing to see that we have taken steps in the right direction. But we need big change to be able to meet the United Nation’s goal in a little over 7 years. We need more cities and towns around the U.S. to start taking action like this and facilitating change for the better of humanity. Three out of 947 cities are not going to make the difference we need to make before 2030. Let’s continue to make conscious decisions regarding the future of our state, country, and ultimately our planet.