As you go through Sheila's plan, at some point you run into the solar power stuff. I'm pretty interested in this and I'm going to do a full solar electric generation system on my next house. It is great for a "fat cat" like me to install a solar system, but it will not pencil out. For those of you who don't do business, not penciling out means that you can't justify the cost with the return. When dealing with solar power, you just can't justify the expense right now if you are in business because you will lose lots of money. I guess you can get a grant and waste the money, but I'm not sure that is ethical either.
The good news is that it looks like we will lick the solar power issues in the next 10 to 20 years. There is an interesting article in this month's issue of Inc. Magazine written by Ray Kurzweil (your know, one of the great technology inventors of our time) that is worth reviewing on this issue. Kurzweil claims in this article that we are only 10 years away from solar systems that pencil out, based on nano technology.
As a supporter of solar technology, I think Sheila's idea of having the city use renewable energy to be admirable. The problem is that it is a really stupid idea for the next 10 or more years, because the technology you install today will be obsolete almost immediately, even on a 20 year horizon you will cost the tax payers money and it will prevent you from installing the right system in 10 or 15 years.
Once it pencils out, everyone will be installing it and it will no longer be innovative or stupid. That day isn't now and will not be coming in the next decade.