Communities Across the US are Committing to 100% Renewable Energy Updates

ella.nielsen44

Student
May 21, 2019
Communities Across the US are Committing to 100% Renewable Energy Updates

Early this May, Washington State has become the fifth state to establish a 100 percent clean energy target, following closely behind California, Hawaii, Nevada, and New Mexico. More and more communities, cities, and states are commiting to become 100% renewable in the United States.

The Sierra Club has been a great source to examine what cities, counties, and states are commiting to 100%. They have a map showing the communities that have officially transitioned to 100% renewable to power the communities electric needs. It also shows the communities that have made commitments to transition to 100% as well (https://www.sierraclub.org/ready-for-100/commitments).

According to the Sierra Club, as of May 2019 (when this article was posted) across the U.S. over 90 cities, more than ten counties, and two states have adopted 100% clean energy goals. This means that the Ready for 100 Campaign (https://www.sierraclub.org/ready-for-100) recognizes the community commitments as places where leadership has established a Climate Action Plan or Energy Action Plan to transition the community to 100% clean, renewable energy.

Although the Department of Energy does not have a clear list of which places are commiting to 100% renewable, it does have an incredible map displaying the renewable energy production by state (https://www.energy.gov/maps/renewable-energy-production-state). As one may see below, the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, South Dakota, Iowa, and Maine are dark green, demonstrating that they are between 80%-100% renewable.

This map also lets you scroll over each individual state, displaying a pie chart to see in relation the states overall energy production. For example, if you scroll over WA, it demonstrates how many British Thermal Units (BTU) of renewable energy the state produces, as well as what type of renewable energy is most used (see below).

We see what other communities are doing to commit to 100% renewable, but what can we do on an individual level to help your community transition to clean energy? The Mass Power Forward website has a Local Clean Energy Checklist which is intended to help passionate and determined people understand how much their community has already done on clean energy and climate change, so they can target their next steps (http://mapowerforward.com/100re) (https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B56bcSy0Vf8iMDVzWGJSLUNlZ00/view).  The main action plans for someone to help their community become powered by 100% renewable energy, the Mass Power Forward suggests:

  1. Complete our clean energy checklist on your town’s actions so far

  2. Build your team, and select your first project or policy to work on from the list of recommendations the Mass Power Forward Website.

  3. Form an energy committee if your community does not have one already

  4. Ask your city councilors or selectboard members to pass a resolution committing your community to achieve 100 percent renewable energy and identifying the next steps your community will take to achieve that goal. (If you live in a community with town meetings, consider introducing the resolution at your next town meeting).

There are also a lot of other sources that have lists of areas that are transitioning or have transition to 100% renewable. To see a list of cities that have invested in renewable energy for their municipal operations check out EPA’s Green Power Communities (https://www.epa.gov/greenpower/green-power-communities).  To see a list of businesses, communities, and countries that are working towards 100% visit Go 100% Renewable Energy (http://www.go100percent.org/cms/).

 

 

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ella.nielsen44 // Student

Current senior at St. Lawrence University hoping to learn more about being green.

 
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