Wilmington City Council aims for 100% clean energy by 2050

Andrew Lemon, Assistant News Editor

The Wilmington City Council unanimously passed a resolution at their April 20 meeting that sets targets for a transition away from fossil fuel usage in favor of clean energy in municipal/city operations for the years 2035 and 2050. 

The city’s officially adopted energy targets are as follows:

1. By 2035 transition from fossil fuel-powered municipal operations to 50% clean energy, and electrify 50% of the city’s vehicle fleet.

2. By 2050 transition from fossil fuel-powered municipal operations to 100% clean energy, and electrify 100% of the city’s vehicle fleet (as future technology allows). 

3. Collaborate with other governments, the private sector and residents in achieving aligned clean energy and equity goals as well as advocating for programs and policies at the state, regional and/or federal level that aid in achieving the transition to clean energy. 

These goals arose from recommendations made by the previously established Clean Energy Task Force, which was brought together last year to explore options that the city can take in furthering clean energy policy in the future. 

Also included in the resolution is the establishment of a permanent Clean Energy Advisory Committee. 

The committee will be made up of citizens that have knowledge or expertise in fields such as clean energy use, sustainable architecture, transportation efficiency and social equity. The purpose of the committee is to provide strategic planning, recommendations and implementation of policy in order to achieve the clean energy goals adopted by the City Council.

This committee will consist of nine voting members, five at-large members and four members with specific technical expertise, all to be appointed by the City Council. Three Wilmington city officials will partake in committee proceedings as non-voting members, serving as support staff for the group. Appointments to this committee are to be made in July.

This latest policy move by the city of Wilmington was foreshadowed by several other resolutions passed by the council in previous meetings, with the installation of electric vehicle charging stations at a downtown parking deck, and the purchase of an electrically powered trash vehicle both being approved earlier this year.