SERC and the Redwood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA) have unveiled their joint RePower Humboldt Strategic Plan, spelling out how local renewable resources can be used to meet the majority of Humboldt County’s electricity needs and a large portion of its transportation and heating energy needs as well. The plan lays out an array of opportunities and recommends a set of actions that would create jobs, stimulate the local economy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase local energy security.
The RePower Humboldt plan is the result of more than two years of research, analysis and community involvement. According to Matthew Marshall, Executive Director of RCEA, “renewable energy development has the potential to provide significant economic, environmental and energy security benefits to our region. We’re excited to share the plan with the community and begin a dialog about our options moving forward.”
SERC Director Arne Jacobson said, “If California is to meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals, which call for an 80% reduction below 1990 levels by 2050, we will need some regions to lead the way by scaling up clean energy use decades earlier. Humboldt County has the opportunity to serve as a positive example in this regard, and the RePower Humboldt plan can act as a road map to get us there.”
Key recommendations in the plan include:
• Aggressively pursue cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities
• Support responsible wind energy development.
• Expand the use of biomass energy that is consistent with forest restoration needs and priorities.
• Develop infrastructure for and encourage the use of electric vehicles.
• Encourage development of distributed energy installations.
• Pursue options for local development and ownership of renewable energy projects, as well as local purchase of the power generated.
• Form an energy leadership group to move the plan forward.
A public draft of the plan is now available and the community is encouraged to review it and provide feedback, either on-line at www.redwoodenergy.org/programs/repower or www.schatzlab.org/repower or in-person at the RCEA, 517 5th Street, Eureka, 707-269-1700.
Public comment on the plan will be accepted through October 26th for incorporation in a final version.
Note: RePower Humboldt is the result of work conducted under the Humboldt County Renewable Energy Secure Community (RESCO) project. The RePower Humboldt name, rather than RESCO, will be used to refer to this effort in the future.