Saturday, June 25, 2016

Renewable cities

To take my mind off the Brexit débacle, here is a bit of inspiring news about a bunch of cities are already 100% reliant on renewable electricity:
  • Aspen, Colorado - the up-market US ski resort achieved its goal of 100% renewable power in September 2015, using a combination of wind, solar and geothermal energy.
  • Greensburg, Kansas - the small prairies city reached 100% way back in 2013, mainly from wind turbines, and exports excess power back to the grid. It constructed many energy efficient, LEED-certified buildings after a large portion of the city was destroyed by a tornado.
  • Burlington, Vermont - the first "major" city to reach 100% renewable power, which it achieved back in early 2015, utilizing a good variety of sources including biomass, wind, solar and hydroelectricity.
  • Columbia, Maryland - the wealthy planned community of Columbia offsets 100% of its energy use from a solar farm in nearby West Friendship, Maryland, as well as producing its own wind energy.
  • Wildpoldsried, Germany - really just a small town of 2,600 resident, but it actually produces 500% more renewable energy than it needs, and profits by selling it back into the energy grid.
Other larger cities hope to join the 100% club in the near future, including:
  • San Francisco, California - it hopes to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2025, towards which goal it has passed a bill recently requiring new residential buildings to include solar panels and either offer solar electric or solar water heating.
  • San Diego, California - it plans to completely transition to energy sources like solar and wind by 2035.
  • Honolulu, Hawaii - the whole of Hawaii, currently the most fossil fuel dependent state in the entire USA, plans to achieve 100% renewable energy by the year 2045, using resources including solar, wind, hydro and geothermal energy.
  • Georgetown, Texas - it hopes to rely entirely on solar and wind energy by 2040, and has already made a start by striking a large solar deal with SunEdison.
  • Munich, Germany - this large German city is aiming for a 100% clean energy supply by 2025, towards which it has launched several green projects, including a hydro power plant.
  • Copenhagen, Denmark - the city aims to go carbon neutral by 2025, and has been erecting wind turbines and adding solar electricity, as well as encouraging biking, in order to meet that goal. The country as a whole plans to run entirely on renewable energy by 2050.
  • Vancouver, Canada - this city expects to be using 100% renewable energy for electricity, heating, and air conditioning by 2035, and hopes to go completely green for transportation too by 2050 at the latest.

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