February 7, 2018

On June 1, 2017, the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to commit the County to reach a goal of 100 percent renewable energy use community-wide by 2050 and an interim goal of 100 percent renewable electricity by 2035. The goal was developed in partnership with the City of Portland and stakeholders representing community organizations, environmental groups, utility companies, and environmental justice nonprofits. This bold vision, embraced by Multnomah County and the City of Portland, is an acknowledgment that rapid decarbonization of the economy is required to sustain a livable climate.

The Board-approved resolution also sets the goal that 2% of Countywide energy needs are met with “community-based” renewable energy resources by the year 2035. This ambitious goal recognizes that a transition of our energy systems must not only be clean but also just. The benefits of decarbonization must take a holistic approach, supporting economic opportunities that advance equity and community resiliency.

On October 23, 2017, Multnomah County, the City of Portland, and the three local utility companies, Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, and Northwest Natural, hosted “Pathways to 100% Renewable: Ensuring an Equitable Transition to a New Energy Economy,” the second of six community discussions. This event, hosted by Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson, featured speakers from Verde, Spark Northwest, Northwest Energy Coalition, and Portland State University.

The discussion focused on how to reach 100% renewable goals in a way that helps ensure people with low incomes can share in environmental and economic benefits of the new energy economy. Speakers included, Alan Hipolito - Verde, Oriana Magnera - Northwest Energy Coalition, Jaimes Valdez - Spark Northwest, Hal Nelson - Portland State University. Their prepared remarks included:

  • An overview of the history of energy policy as an economic development tool;
  • The state of current low-income energy efficiency programs and needed fixes;
  • The potential to pair technology and social nudging to achieve low cost energy efficiency gains; and
  • Big picture regulatory reforms needed to achieve an equitable transition to a clean energy economy.

    The following presentations are available for download:

    Email sustainability@multco.us if you would like to be invited to future “Pathways to 100% Renewable Events.”