D.C. Goes Big on Green Energy

Saturday, Mar 19, 2011  |  Updated 9:45 AM EDT
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Eleventh-grader Nakiah Settles recently gave a tour of Phelps High School, located in Northwest. D.C.

"The wind turbines create electricity, the solar panels also create electricity for lighting and stuff," she explains.

Schools and other D.C. government buildings get half of their electricity from renewable sources, either by producing it themselves or buying renewable elecricity -- wind or solar -- through a complex credit market.

"We have eliminated 1.1 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions in our country, that's about the same as taking 100 cars off the road," says D.C. Director of the Environment Christophe Tulou.

Individuals can purchase their own wind energy through companies such as Clean Currents, where Gary Skulnik is chairman.

"Residents of D.C. can sign up for 50 percent or 100 percent wind power at rates that right now are less than Pepco's rates," he says.

And Richard Bradley, director of the Downtown Business Improvement District, says it's becoming a branding issue for some businesses.

"They may want to make that a part of who they are because it turns out consumers they're now looking for going to buildings that are green," he says.

D.C. currently gets 8 percent of its electricity from renewable sources. Officials say the goal is to bring it up to 10 percent by the end of the year.

Listen to the complete story at wamu.org

Copyright 2011 WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio. All Rights Reserved.

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