Georgetown, TX is a district of approximately 80,000 residents located about 30 miles north of Austin. In order to address urgent environmental challenges, the city set a goal of reaching 30% renewable energy by 2030. To achieve this goal, Georgetown signed long-term contracts with wind and solar parks in West Texas and the Panhandle, instead of investing in their own renewable energy production. This allowed the city to move quickly and benefit from low prices due to the contracts. In addition to cost stability and reduced regulatory risk, the city has also created a new institute called Earth Commons.
This institute will focus on accelerating action, research and education on pressing environmental and sustainability issues, both locally and globally. It will consist of multiple focal areas, such as environmental justice, climate change and energy transitions, environmental health, food and water security, and the conservation of biodiversity. The program will prepare students to be leaders in sustainable business and environmental practices and will welcome its first class in the fall of this year. Earth Commons also provides an opportunity for all students to get involved in environmental issues. The initiative is committed to deepening its impact on Georgetown and training more than 70 full-time academics who study the environment in all disciplines.
These academics will focus on topics such as the decline of butterflies and monarch birds, the impact of climate change on women, and their overall economic costs. The most important aspect of the Rate Case agreement was a process to address commitments to stop fossil fuel generation and guide the goals of solar and energy efficiency programs. Georgetown is working hard towards its goal of 30% renewable energy by 2030, with everything seeming to be under continuous construction in and around the city.