A growing number of cities and communities around the globe have embraced the idea of a new and different kind of future, and the movement is taking hold in North America. In this future, clean and equitable renewable energy feeds a prosperous local economy and builds community ties.
In partnership with the Sierra Club, ICLEI USA, and the San Francisco Department of the Environment, Renewable Cities convened a three-day dialogue from July 10-12, 2016 in San Francisco that brought together a group of cities from around North America to discuss the transition 100% renewable energy. Participants included senior municipal staff and elected officials, members of the private sector, researchers, city networks, and other leaders in the urban sustainability field.
This event was intentionally limited to a small number of municipalities from throughout North America, some already committed to the 100% renewable energy transition in at least one sector, and others demonstrating an appetite for the shift through ambitious policies. Our gathering offered an opportunity for cities to learn about the tools, programs, research, resources (see below) and best practices needed to reach these energy goals. Through dialogue, participants discussed the challenges specific to their cities and helped each other work through different strategies to achieve an urban energy transition. Participants reported interesting shifts in their knowledge and thinking:
- “I was focused on electricity only and learned there is more to it than that.”
- “It was good to talk to other people from across the country and Canada to get their perspectives and struggles/successes.”
- “We’re not alone. It’s an opportunity to be a leader.”
Participants also heard from RE100 companies, including Apple and Google, about why and how they are moving to 100% renewable energy.
Photos from the event are available in a Flickr album.
- How cities can get to 100%RE – Johanna Partin, Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance
- Data, Tools, and Tech Assistance – Liz Doris, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
- San Francisco’s CCA Program – Barbara Hale, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
- City Actions in Electric Sector – Susannah Churchill, VoteSolar
Other resources discussed during the dialogue are available below:
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory: State and local energy data (SLED), Utility Rate Database (URDB), ReOpt, SAM, Clean Cities
- US Department of Energy: Solsmart, Tribal Energy Technical Assistance, and WINDExchange
- Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN): Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance
- Track0: Cities & Regions
- ICLEI: Clearpath, 100% Renewable Energy Cities & Regions Network, carbonn Climate Registry, Solutions Gateway
- Google: Project Sunroof
- Michael Small, Renewable Cities: North America, the New Frontier for 100% Renewable Energy
- Jodie Van Horn, Sierra Club: Cities Gather to Learn About 100% Clean Energy
- Elizabeth Doris, National Renewable Energy Laboratory: Communing with Frontrunners: 100% Renewable
Scott Wiener is a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and serves on the Board’s Land Use and Economic Development Committee and Budget and Finance Committee.
Lisa Jackson is Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, reporting to CEO Tim Cook. From 2009 to 2013, Lisa served as Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Mark Z. Jacobson is Director of the Atmosphere/Energy Program and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University. He is on the Board of The Solutions Project, served on an advisory committee to the U.S. Secretary of Energy
Andrea Reimer was first elected to Vancouver City Council in 2008, and re-elected in 2011 and 2014 on a commitment to make Vancouver the “Greenest City on Earth”. She had previously served as a School Board member with the Green Party from 2002–2005.
PARTNERS AND SPONSORS
Header image courtesy of Flickr user warzauwynn. Inset images courtesy of Dockside Green and Flickr users sdot_photos