“Sustainability” has come to mean different things to different people, however, most definitions include making sure that re- sources do not deteriorate or deplete from generation to gen- eration. Energy resources are a prime concern of sustainability.
Fossil fuel phase-out is often described as the ultimate achieve- ment of long-term sustainability. Fossil fuel phase-out means energy transition beyond fossil fuels through multiple means, including transportation electrification, decommissioning of operating fossil fuel-fired power plants; and prevention of the construction of new fossil-fuel-fired power stations. Its purpose is to both reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions which cause climate change as well as to create resilient energy systems not dependent on finite sources.
Clean, safe, renewable, energy sources such as wind, hydroelectric, solar and less well-known sources such as landfill gas, bio- mass, biofuel and others involve technologies largely still in development. Many argue that energy sources such as coal, petroleum, natural gas, and nuclear are to be considered interim sources of energy until the renewable technologies are fully developed. In just the last ten years in the field of solar energy alone has seen enormous advances. Solar water heaters, roof-mounted photo-voltaics, and solar arrays are increasingly reliable and cost-efficient.
Others argue that as the number of people in the region and on the earth increases, even the most diverse energy portfolio must include fossil fuel use. However, energy providers see this as an argument that needn’t be solved. Energy providers are working to diversify their energy portfolio while still keeping the lights on by every means available to them. As a point of regional policy we must as well keep the lights on but also work toward a more sustainable future with greater reliance on renewable energy sources.
Encourage the Region’s Energy Independence: reduce the Region’s reliance on fossil fuels, diversify the Region’s energy mix, and decrease the region’s vulnerability to fuel price increases and supply interruptions.