Local governments are making progress toward regional climate and energy goals according to the recently released Climate and Energy Workplan: 2011 Progress Report by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG). It details recent actions to advance renewable energy projects, implement policies for green building and fleets, and develop a regional strategy for electric vehicle deployment.
The report was prepared for COG’s Climate, Energy and Environment Policy Committee, which works to ensure that the metropolitan Washington region meets the goals established in the 2008 National Capital Region Climate Change Report and COG’s Region Forward vision plan.
“This is a challenging time and we are making very good progress toward achieving our sustainability vision for the region as laid out in Region Forward,” said Arlington County Board Member Jay Fisette, who serves as Chair of the regional climate and energy committee. The report notes several regional accomplishments over the past few years, including:
- 81 percent of local governments have completed or are in the process of preparing greenhouse gas inventory for government operations (regional goal is 100 percent);
- 66 percent of local governments have adopted or are in progress on a green building policy for public and private buildings (regional goal is 100 percent);
- 67 percent of local governments have deployed or are in progress on deploying renewable energy (regional goal is 75 percent);
- 43 percent of local governments have a green fleet policy to have alternative fuel, hybrid and other more efficient vehicles. (This meets the regional goal of 30 percent.)
It also highlights individual actions by local governments, such as renewable (solar) energy projects in Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Montgomery Counties and the City of Takoma Park.
- Arlington County Central Library’s 60 kilowatt solar panel system consists of 250 panels – each capable of producing a maximum of 240 watts.
- Fairfax County’s Norman M. Cole, Jr. Pollution Control Plant replaced four standard 25 horsepower mixers with a solar mixer that is saving about $40,000 a year in energy costs.
- Loudoun County’s Harmony Park and Ride at Scott Jenkins Memorial Park features 48 solar arrays, LED lights and charging stations for electric vehicles.
- Montgomery County Shady Grove Transfer Station has 1,248 solar panels that produce 280 kilowatts, or about 30 percent of the facility’s energy needs
- The City of Takoma Park has installed 94 kilowatts of solar panels on city facilities, including the community center and public works facility.
In 2011, COG hosted over a dozen special events on several emerging topics, such as climate adaptation and electric vehicles. As a result, two regional workgroups have been established to address policy and infrastructure needs for electric vehicles, which are already showing encouraging sales in the region.
COG’s four climate adaptation workshops focused on helping the region prepare and become more resilient to climate change impacts on land use, transportation, buildings and water quality. The workshops informed the development of a climate adaptation guidebook by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
To view the full Climate and Energy Workplan: 2011 Progress Report, click here.