Donate

Science

Palo Alto Going Carbon Neutral

Palo Alto leaders say they'll soon be providing 100 percent carbon neutral electricity to the city's residents and businesses. 
 
The city council recently approved three major solar contracts that are expected to get the city to its goal by 2017. 
 
Because Palo Alto owns all its utilities, it can be more flexible about where it gets its power. The city already claims to provide carbon neutral power. 
 
But about 30 percent of the city’s energy comes from traditional sources, and is offset through the purchase of renewable energy certificates. 
 
Jim Stack with Palo Alto Utilities says the new solar contracts will eliminate the need for offsets.
 
“These last 3 contracts sort of get us to the finish line,” Stack says. “We’ll be receiving all of our power from carbon-neutral sources.”
 
Stack says he knows the efforts of one mid-sized city by itself can’t stop climate change. But he says by showing it’s possible to become carbon neutral, Palo Alto can inspire other cities to replicate its model.
Become a KQED sponsor

Follow KQED News on Facebook

Follow KQED News on Twitter

For the latest updates from KQED News, follow us on Twitter.