Our Net Zero Mission
GRU is committed to achieving the Gainesville City Commission’s goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 and to doing its part to curb the climate crisis. Our utility has a long track record of environmental stewardship and continues to be a leader in renewables, solar production and conservation efforts. This page provides a few examples of what we have done to lower carbon emissions over the years. While we are proud of the utility’s accomplishments, we realize the importance of systematically attacking this crisis until we achieve our goals.
Cumulative Avoided CO2 Emissions
The figure below demonstrates the CO2 emissions in tons GRU has avoided starting in 2013, when the utility began cutting back on coal while simultaneously incorporating biomass fuel into the mix. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers GRU’s sustainable use of biomass fuel for energy production carbon-neutral. As you can see, our use of the Deerhaven Renewable Generating Station (DHR) combined with that movement away from coal has had a dramatic impact on our avoided CO2 emissions – 2.2 million tons as of 2022!
Cumulative Avoided CO2 in Vehicles
2.2 million avoided tons of CO2 emissions sounds like a lot, but what does it mean for the environment? It’s the equivalent of removing 440,000 vehicles from the road for a year, or nearly six times the amount of registered vehicles in Gainesville (71,427).
Sources: countyoffice.org and https://www.epa.gov/energy/greenhouse-gas-equivalencies-calculator.
CO2 Intensity over Time
Carbon intensity shows the fossil fuel emissions GRU is responsible for when it creates a unit of power. Since 2007, GRU has reduced the carbon emissions it creates to meet its electrical needs by 56%. This overall trend was sparked by a strategic movement away from coal combined with the more consistent use of DHR, which GRU purchased in 2017 and started operating in house. As you can see, we’ve made great strides over the past decade.
Percentage of Renewables
How much renewable energy does GRU produce compared to other Florida utilities? GRU is the overwhelming state leader in renewable sources and remains committed to producing green energy. 2020 was a great year, and 2021 should be even better. In the third quarter of fiscal year 2021, 36% of the energy GRU produced came from renewable sources.
Source: The information in this figure is reported from each utilities’ Ten-Year Site Plan. GRU’s data is provided from generating reports and includes solar Feed-In Tariff generation, which is not reported in GRU’s Ten-Year Site Plan.
Additional sources: https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/biomass/ and https://www.energy.gov/eere/bioenergy/bioenergy-basics