Aspen, the iconic ski town known for spectacular views and phenomenal skiing, is also leading the charge to running 100 percent on renewable energy. Although not first to the party, that honor goes to Greensburg, Kansas making the leap back in 2013, then Burlington, Vermont in 2014, Aspen was not far behind. It joined this rarefied air in 2015, along with the only other city in this so far rather exclusive club, Columbia, Maryland.
“A lot of hard work, a commitment to a long-term goal and having a vision is what enabled us to get here. Nothing comes easy….20 years later, we’ve accomplished what we thought was impossible…I wanted to have confidence that what we’re doing is more than just a measure for us to celebrate our own successes. I want to make sure that we have things that are replicable and scalable for other communities to adopt.” —Aspen Mayor Steve Skadron
A new report by the Sierra Club has compiled a list of cities, large and small, transitioning to renewable clean energy. By “clean” they refer to carbon -and -pollution free energy such as wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal. As part of it’s “Cities Ready for 100%” campaign, the report recognizes that no two municipalities will implement these new strategies for the same reason. Some may be more focused on their environmental impact while others come at it from an economic standpoint.
“I’m probably the furthest thing from an Al Gore clone you could find. We didn’t do this to save the world – we did this to get a competitive rate and reduce the risk for our consumers.” Jim Briggs, Georgetown, Texas’s interim city manager
Regardless of the why, the outcome is that everyone benefits. Cities powered by clean energy cut down on air and water pollution, create jobs, and save people money. #winning!
Achieved 100% Renewable:
- Aspen, CO – As of 2015
- Columbia, MD – As of 2015
- Burlington, VT – As of 2014,
- Greensburg, KS – As of 2013
Working Toward and Committed to 100%:
- Del Mar, CA – is committed to achieving 50% renewable electricity by 2020, and 100% by 2035.
- East Hampton, NY – is committed to achieving 100% renewable electricity by 2020 and 100% renewable heating, cooling and transportation by 2030.
- Georgetown, TX – is committed to achieving 100% renewable electricity by 2017.
- Grand Rapids, MI –is committed to achieving 100% renewable electricity by 2020.
- Nassau, NY – is committed to achieving 100% renewable electricity by 2020.
- Palo Alto, CA – Since 2013 Palo Alto, California’s electricity is 100% carbon neutral.
- Rochester, MN – aims to acheive 100% renewable electricity by 2031.
- Salt Lake City, UT – is committed to achieving 100% renewable energy for community electricity supply by 2032 and 50% renewable electricity for municipal operations by 2020.
- San Diego, CA – is committed to 100% renewable electricity by 2035.
- San Francisco, CA –is committed to achieving 100% renewable electricity by 2020.94102.
- San Jose, CA – is committed to achieving 100% renewable electricity by 2022.
And the list continues to grow, with more and more cities aiming for 100% renewable energy by 2050.