Advocacy

Economic Impacts Analysis Determines Resilient-Renewable Energy Standard is the Best Path Forward for New Orleans

The proposal, submitted by the Energy Future New Orleans coalition, will establish a 100 percent Renewable Energy Standard by 2040 and result in more jobs, greater emissions reductions, and more local investment than alternatives

NEW ORLEANS — As the city council weighs whether to adopt a measure that will establish a goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2040, one proposal stands above others as far as aggressiveness in meeting goals; income and job generation; and overall emission reductions, according to a report released today.

An economic impact analysis of three separate scenarios found that the Resilient-Renewable Portfolio Standard (R-RPS) proposal submitted by Energy Future New Orleans (EFNO), a coalition of local and national organizations and businesses, demonstrated that the implementation of the new standard would benefit the city both in terms of clean energy and economic development.

“New Orleans needs an energy system that is resilient enough to withstand demands both by people and nature, and also needs to protect the economic welfare of our communities,” said Brent Newman, deputy director of Audubon Louisiana, a member of ENFO. “This plan will help us meet our clean energy goals faster, while creating jobs and keeping rates affordable in the process. What’s good for our wildlife and coasts is also good for the people of this city.”

The R-RPS, developed by ENFO, lays out a path to reach the 100 percent renewable by 2040 target by addressing existing high energy costs for low- and moderate-income households, and the enduring threats of extreme weather and power outages facing the city.

“Our power system will be stronger by diversifying our sources of electricity and spreading them out, rather than being contained in isolated plants,” said Newman. “We know change won’t happen overnight, but we have a plan to get to our goal of 100 percent renewable energy in a way that creates job opportunities, protects families’ budgets, and significantly reduces harmful emissions that threaten the natural landscape that defines our city and the land where we build our homes.”

Energy poverty is already a problem in New Orleans, with some customers paying as much as 23 percent of their income on bills. Climate change is expected to exacerbate these costs as extreme weather events push temperatures higher.   

The National Audubon Society also recently released a study showing that two-thirds of North America’s birds will be vulnerable to extinction unless action is immediately taken to reduce emissions and slow global temperature rises, which also contribute to threats like sea level rise.

The economic impact study was conducted by GCR Inc., and compared the ENFO proposal scenario to a scenario based on Entergy New Orleans’ 2018 Integrated Resource Plan and a proposal submitted by the Utility Advisors to the Council of the City of New Orleans. The study’s author, Jennifer Day, is also available for comment.

The renewable energy standard is scheduled to be taken up by the city council within the next few weeks.

The economic impact analysis can be found here: https://www.audubon.org/sites/default/files/audubon_new_orleans_rrps_benefits_and_impacts_analysis_report_4march204143.pdf

Audubon Louisiana will also be attending and presenting verbal comments in support of the proposal at a meeting of the New Orleans City Council Utility, Cable, Telecommunications, and Technology Committee this Thursday, March 12, at 10:00 a.m.

About Audubon
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Learn more at www.audubon.org and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @audubonsociety.

Audubon's mission is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth's biological diversity. Audubon Louisiana works daily to engage, conserve, restore and protect important areas shared by birds and people. See more at LA.Audubon.org.

Media Contact: Robyn Shepherd, robyn.shepherd@audubon.org, 212-979-3193

“The views expressed in user comments do not reflect the views of Audubon. Audubon does not participate in political campaigns, nor do we support or oppose candidates.”