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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Des Moines city leaders are calling their recent commitment to carbon-free electricity historic — but at least 170 other cities have also embraced such goals.

How it's different: Des Moines’ goal goes a step beyond the others with a commitment to completely divorce itself from fossil fuel electricity by 2035.

  • It also doesn’t rely on offsetting fossil-fuel use through the purchase of renewable energy credits, utilized when renewable energy systems are not generating electricity.
  • Electricity will need to come directly from traceable, renewable resources and be generated locally.

💡 Be smart: It means DSM must act strategically in energy planning and development, including...

  • A plan for energy storage during times when renewable sources are unavailable.
  • Reducing electricity usage during peak times.
  • Considering new technologies like electric vehicles and grid-interactive buildings, which use smart technology to optimize energy use.

The bottom line: If you think that issues linked to electricity supply won't affect you, just look at what's happening in Texas.

This story first appeared in the Axios Des Moines newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Feb 16, 2021 - Energy & Environment

The status and politics of the Texas power crisis

Photo: Montinique Monroe/Getty Images

More than 4.3 million Texas homes and businesses are without power as of Tuesday morning, per the tracking service poweroutage.us.

Why it matters: Bitter cold temperatures and winter storms are wreaking havoc on the power system in Texas and its refineries, and affecting other states too.

Popularity of delivery apps soars in Des Moines despite restaurant struggles

Data: Second Measure; Chart: Axios Visuals

Companies like DoorDash have become popular in the Des Moines marketplace thanks to the pandemic.

The big picture: Sales through the delivery service have more than doubled since the pandemic hit about a year ago, per consumer analytics company Second Measure. But that doesn’t mean everything is rosy in the restaurant world.

14 states warned of possible power cuts amid extreme weather

Southwest Power Pool, which manages the electric grid and wholesale power market for 14 central states, said Monday that it directed its members to begin controlled power outages.

The state of play: SPP will implement "controlled interruptions of service" to prevent uncontrolled power cuts as states across the region face an aggressive winter storm.

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