Alheim, Germany

Alheimerturm, Hessen, Germany

  • Target: 100% renewable electric supply by 2030, 100% renewable heating supply by 2050.
  • Status: In progress
  • RES: Solar photovoltaics, solar thermal, biogas technology and hydropower.
  • Implementation: Alheim is a small town located in northern Hesse, Germany. Back in 1994, its municipal council enforced environmental impact guidelines which mandated that  all construction projects must be subjected to an environmental impact assessment. Ten years later, the town extended these guidelines to include a long-term target to power Alheim entirely from renewable energy sources. The intermediate goals included raising the current share of 75% of electricity supply to 100% until 2030. Similarly, while only 15% of heat is covered by renewable energy today, the aim is to achieve 100% renewable heating by 2050. Today, out of 12.2 Mio kWh produced from renewable energy, solar photovoltaic produces 6.9 Mio kWh, solar thermal energy 1.1 Mio kWh, biogas technology 4,1 Mio kWh and hydro 4.294 kWh. Alheim has profited greatly from the policy framework advancing renewable energy as it has boosted the local economy and created jobs in the region. Heat generated in biogas plants have been used for heating in industrial buildings, thus strengthening the local industry. Meanwhile, solar panels do not only produce energy but also provide shelter for organically farmed chicken on the fields. Alheim’s streets are illuminated with energy-efficient LED lighting and strict ecological guidelines for construction and renovations have been in place since 1994. Indeed, the advancement of renewable energy is part of a broader strategy to promote a lifestyle that is compatible with social and ecological ideals. Ever since Alheim joined energy transition revolution, children have been taught about renewable energy in the local schools and kindergardens.  Alheim council’s website features “Climate Protection To Go”  including tips on energy-efficient driving and cooking. One of the decisive factors for Alheim’s policy on renewable energy has been the political leadership of Mayor Georg Lüdtke who came into office in 1996 and has been committed to the idea ever since. Currently, Alheim is deepening its cooperation with the neighboring regions Bebra and Rotenburg, acting as a role model and strengthening the alliance for the transformation towards decentralized energy supply.
  • Population: 4,951 (2017)
  • Area: 63.83 km(24.64 sq mi)
  • Link: (In German) https://www.alheim.de/texte/seite.php?id=17304
Alheimerturm, Hessen, Germany

Aller-Leine-Tal, Germany

Aller-Leine-Tal, Germany

  • Target: 100+% Renewable Power Region, On Its Way to 100+% Renewable Heat.
  • Status: Achieved - In January 2012, Aller-Leine-Tal produced 108% of its electricity with local renewable sources.
  • RES: Wind turbines, biogas cogeneration plant, solar PV farm and small riverine hydro for electricity. Geothermal energy, biomass and district heating grid for heating.
  • Implementation: The region of Aller-Leine-Tal is located north of Hannover in Lower Saxony, Germany. The region consists of eight municipalities (Kirchlinteln, Dörverden, Wietze, Winsen, Hambühren and the administrative divisions in Ahlden, Rethern, and Schwarmstedt). The regional community has reached and surpassed a 100% renewable electricity goal, and is currently pursuing a 100% renewable heating target. Its efforts began in the late 1990's when the region pledged a commitment to help protect the climate by supporting renewable energy use. In 1996, 60 citizens collaborated to construct the first 660kW windmill. This was eventually replaced by a modern 2.3MW turbine. Today, the region is generating energy from additional 54 windmills, biogas (13 MW), solar PV (14 MW), and some smaller river hydro power providing more energy than needed. To achieve 100% renewable heat, the region will expand use of technologies already employed, including geothermal, biomass to heat, a district heating grid, and improving efficiency. To increase energy conservation, the municipalities offer energy audits and energy consulting. They have also initiated educational programs in local schools to engage and educate students in renewable energy-related activities. The idea is that students should experience and understand renewable energy with there own hands and be given the opportunity to use - and build where possible - renewable energy technologies like wind turbines, water mills, and solar chargers. To increase awareness, the region has created touristic bike paths with more than 40 energy stations that provide information on different renewable energy sources. As an energy exporter, the Aller-Leine-Tal has already set a new target of supplying neighboring areas with renewable energy.
  • Population: 60,087 (2017)
  • Area: 622 km(240 sq mi)
  • Link: http://www.kommunal-erneuerbar.de/energie-kommunen/energie-kommunen/aller-leine-tal.html
Aller-Leine-Tal, Germany

Alzey-Land Region, Germany

Fishmarket, Alzey, Germany

  • Target: 100% renewable energy
  • Status: Achieved
  • RES: Wind farms, biogas plants, a hydroelectric power plant and solar power plants.
  • Implementation: The Alley-Land region is a hilly wine growing region comprising 24 local communities, located in the state of Rheinland-Palatinate, Germany. In 2010, the region reached 100% renewable electricity. To also achieve 100% renewable in heating and transportation, it is seeking to further expand its existing renewable energy infrastructure. Today, renewable energy plants in the Alzey region generates more electricity than its inhabitants consume. 38 wind turbines cover more than 91% of the electricity demand. The rest comes from two biogas plants, a hydroelectric power plant and 156 solar power plants.

    The initiatives in the field of wind power have been largely driven by the private sector. The municipality advises, moderates and creates the planning principles with regards to urban land use planning in order to encourage and guide RES installations. In order to make greater use of wind power, the municipality aims to expand areas for the use of wind power and to identify them in its land use plan. Old turbines will be replaced with newer, more powerful wind turbines to improve the wind power harvest. The Alzey region hosts the largest wind farm in the Rhineland-Palatinate called Park Ober-Flörsheim/Flomborn. Besides wind energy, there are over 150 PV systems installed on private houses, commercial buildings and farm buildings. The Freimersheim solar park produces more than 7.5 million kilowatt hours of electricity each year, able to supply around 2,300 households.
  • Population: 24,805 (2017)
  • Area: 173,87 km²
  • Link: https://www.alzey-land.de/vg/wirtschaft/energiekommune.php
Fishmarket, Alzey, Germany

Aruba

Aruba

  • Target: Cover all electricity demand by 100% renewable sources by 2020.
  • Status: In progress - To date, 15.4% electricity generation is from renewable energy.
  • RES: 30-MW wind park, and waste-to-energy project generating electricity through biogas.
  • Implementation: The Caribbean island of Aruba in the Caribbean is an autonomous member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands located off the coast of Venezuela. Aruba's economy is based largely on tourism with nearly 1.5 million visitors per year, which has contributed to Aruba’s high population density with about 500 people per square kilometre (more than New York). In response, the Government of Aruba realised that the island’s economic development must shift in order to maintain and preserve the country's infrastructure and natural resources. In 2009, Aruba launched the islands first wind park. In 2011, the Government published its economic vision and policy plan with the title “The Green Gateway”. It includes plans to promote renewable energy on the island in order to secure and preserve its valuable but fragile natural resources. During the Rio +20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012, the island announced it aim to cover its electricity demand by 100% renewable sources by 2020. In the same year, Aruba together with other Caribbean islands became member of the Carbon War Room’s Ten Island Challenge, an initiative launched at the Rio +20 Conference aiming for islands to shift towards 100% renewable energy. The benefits of becoming 100% renewable for Aruba include: reducing its heavy dependency on fossil fuel, thus making it less vulnerable to global oil price fluctuations, drastically reducing CO2 emissions, and preserving its natural environment.
  • Population: 104,822 (2016)
  • Area: 178.91 km2 (69.08 sq mi)
  • Link: http://www.utilitiesarubanv.com/main/wp-content/uploads/pdf/green-deck-aruba.pdf
Aruba

Aspen, Colorado, USA

Aspen, Colorado, USA

  • Target: 100% renewable energy
  • Status: Achieved
  • RES: Hydropower, windpower, and land-fill gas energy.
  • Implementation: The City of Aspen is located in the Rocky Mountains in the state of Colorado. As one of the most famous skiing resorts in the USA, Aspen welcomes many tourists every year. In particular, the city's winter population grows from approximately 7,000 to 50,000 people. This means that Aspen has to deal with a significantly higher energy consumption in winter compared to the rest of the year. In 1885, Aspen was already one of the first American municipalities to use hydroelectric power, and by 2014, hydroplants were covering 86% of the energy demand. The boost in hydropower has been largely due to the Canary Initiative, which was established in 2005, which identified Aspen and other mountain communities as “canaries in the coal mine” with respect to their sensitivity to the effects of climate change. The initiative laid out a Climate Action Plan, which would reduce GHG emissions by converting its energy supply to one based on RE. In cooperation with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory the city developed a strategy how to achieve this. Investments in renewable energy have enabled the utility to progressively replace fossil fuels. Finally, in August of 2015, the City of Aspen municipally owned electric utility achieved 100% renewable energy, by signing of a contract with the Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska, a wholesale electric energy provider. Since then, the energy mix in the electricity sector is assembled by 46% hydro, 53% wind and 1% landfill gas energy. The new wind contract, which provides 95% of the new renewable energy, allows the city to only buy what it needs to keep it close to 100% renewable energies. The advantage of this arrangement is that it affords crucial supply management flexibility for dealing with inconsistencies in energy production from Aspen’s other resources, such as the fluctuations in hydro power. It also allows the city to avoid being forced to buy energy they do not need.
  • Population: 6,871 (2016)
  • Area: 3.88 sq mi (10.05 km2)
  • Link: https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy15osti/62490.pdf
Aspen, Colorado, USA

Bamberg, Germany

Bamberg, Germany

  • Target: Energy self-sufficient by exclusively relying on renewable energies, by 2035.
  • Status: In progress
  • RES: Solar and wind-powered systems, block heating stations, woodchip heating systems, and electric vehicle charging stations.
  • Implementation: The city of Bamberg's strategy to produce energy independently is embedded in its climate change strategy and is integrated into the sustainable development of Bamberg. It has already financed a combination of solar and wind-powered systems, block heating stations as well as woodchip heating systems. In 2009, the Fraunhofer Institute analyzed the resource potential of the city and different scenarios were investigated to optimize the process of RE development. It laid the groundwork for finding the best energy models for the area. The plan would serve 210,000 people for both for electricity and heat. As a member of ”climate alliance”, the city cooperates with surrounding municipalities. The idea is that both the city and its region would benefit from the energy transition: the city has a reliable supply of renewable energy and the surrounding rural areas is the energy producer,  generating income, allowing the development of new business models, and well distributed profits among municipalities. In fact, the city of Bamberg would not have been able to achieve its RE goal if it wasn’t for the rural support, considering the limited urban space. The city involved the industry and engineering sectors in the planning process, as well as the participation of the local community, with processes being guided by the city government. In 2011, the Climate and Energy Agency Bamberg was established to serve as the office of the Climate Alliance Bamberg. In 2012, the city along with 31 municipalities formed the ,,Regionalwerke Bamberg GmbH’’ to combine strategic efforts. Energy consultancy and analysis tools for electricity and heat applications of private households were introduced and more than half of the towns in the area have set up electric vehicle charging stations.
  • Population: 77,179 (2017)
  • Area: 54.62 km2 (21.09 sq mi)
  • Link: https://www.detail-online.com/article/bamberg-is-switching-to-renewable-energy-14255/
Bamberg, Germany

Bamiyan, Afghanistan

Bamiyan, Afghanistan

  • Target: To supply power to remote communities.
  • Status: In progress - The Bamiyan Renewable Energy Program (BREP) developed a large-scale, solar photovoltaic (PV) mini-grid, and by 2017 began generating 1 MW of electricity to more than 3,500 businesses, homes and government offices.
  • RES: Solar PV with battery storage and diesel backup.  BREP uses a prepaid, pay-as-you-go model to collect revenue, with each house being equipped with a digital meter.
  • Implementation: The mini-grid was funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and built by a joint venture of two New Zealand companies, Sustainable Energy Services International (SESI) and NetCon. After construction, project developers transferred the system to Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS), Afghanistan’s national utility that now owns and operates the system. SESI and NetCon helped DABS operate the system for the first year after installation.
  • Population: 100,000
  • Area: 35 km²
  • Link: https://www.usaid.gov/energy/mini-grids/case-studies/afghanistan-hydropower

 

Bamiyan, Afghanistan

Beaverton, Oregon, USA

Beaverton, Oregon, USA

  • Target: Achieve 100% renewable energy target including all public buildings, streetlights, and the water supply. 80 percent carbon emissions reduction below current levels by 2050, with a near-term emphasis on 40 percent reduction by 2030.
  • Status: Achieved - Since 2014, 100% of electricity fed into the city's grid comes from wind power sources. It is the only city in the state of Oregon that procures all of its power, for civic operations, from Portland General Electric’s (PGE) renewable energy program.
  • RES: Windpower and solar.
  • Implementation: In the first instance, Beaverton created an Energy Map for the base year of 2012, and researched existing and proposed state laws. To achieve the energy target, the electricity that Beaverton uses is not sourced from renewable energies produced in the town, but through investments in renewable electricity, which offset the consumed power in the city. Beaverton teamed up with PGE to purchase renewable energy offsets equivalent to all of the electricity demands for the city. The renewable energy purchased powers the city’s street lights, traffic signals and water pumping. PGE acts as a public consultant and encourages the community to switch to 100% renewable energy via different green products and packages which they can can select according to their needs. Competitions and projects enhance the level of participation of community members, such as the Beaverton Better Buildings Challenge (Beaverton BBC) which aims to improve energy efficiency in local buildings 20% by 2020. The city provides participants of the program free energy consultation, assistance prioritizing efficiency projects and support with utility data tracking tools.
  • Population: 89,803
  • Area: 48.51 km²
  • Link: https://www.climatesolutions.org/article/beaverton-oregon-does-carbon-math%20
Beaverton, Oregon, USA

Berkeley, California, USA

Berkeley, California, USA

  • Target: 100% carbon-free energy in electricity, transportation and buildings by 2030, 100% renewable energy by 2035, and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050
  • Status: In progress
  • RES: Renewable electricity procurement, solar and wind power
  • Implementation: The City of Berkeley is committed to 100% renewable energy, as a strategy to mitigate greenhouse emissions and reduce the impact of climate change. The goal followed legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown pledging 100 percent clean energy use in California by 2045 and the University of California committing to 100 percent clean electricity use by 2025 and reducing energy use by 2 percent each year through its Carbon Neutrality Initiative.
    The city instituted the Berkeley Climate Action Plan, with the vision to reach net-zero energy use for all buildings by 2050 by requiring building owners to assess their energy use, and prioritize sustainable forms of transportation, such as walking, cycling and public transportation. The city also participates Community Choice Energy program, which allows local governments to buy and sell energy — an option that is often cleaner and cheaper for local residents. Berkeley has joined an initiative providing greater access to energy-efficient cars and infrastructure at a lower cost. With other Bay Area cities, the city calls for the end coal shipments. Source: dailycal.org
  • Population:  121,363 (2019)
  • Area:  17.66 sq mi (45.73 km2)
  • Link: Recommendations for a Fossil-Fuel Free Berkeley
Berkeley, California, USA

Blacksburg, Virginia, USA

Blacksburg, Virginia, USA

  • Target: 100% electricity community-wide by 2050
  • Status: In progress
  • RES: Solar power
  • Implementation: Blacksburg City Council in Virginia is transitioning to 100% renewable electricity community-wide by 2050 through a series of “solarize” campaigns. It launched the Solarize Blacksburg program to encourage more city residents to go solar by addressing  the financial and logistical barriers to installing solar power. The city worked with installers to lower the costs of solar arrays by 16 percent. A neighborhood collective purchasing program was established for the city's communities. Unlike other solarize models which usually start with a neighborhood or team of neighbors getting together to form a co-op, and then vet and choose a contractor that will perform all of the solar installations, the Solarize Blacksburg model involved finding the contractors upfront, getting the companies to agree on specific pricing options and technical specifications, and then letting the community drive the demand. The model succeeded in quadrupling residential solar within 6 months. Despite it being home to Virginia Tech with 70 percent renter-occupied housing, and unfavourable state energy policies for solar, the model worked well. The follow-up program Solarize Montgomery was also very successful, with more than 800 subscribers.The two solarize programs were implemented as one-time programs to avoid the impression that the programs were ongoing which could have resulted in potential participants postponing the decision to sign up. In fact, after a program ended, the adoption of solar continued. Systems already installed in the community encouraged more residents to install solar power. In Montgomery County, solar use grew by 273 percent within three years. Since 2015, residential solar has more than doubled across the state of Virginia, and at least 25 other Virginia communities have created their own solarize programs. Source: governing.com
  • Population:  44,233 (2019)
  • Area:  19.77 sq mi (51.20 km2)
  • Link: 100% Renewables Resolution
Blacksburg, Virginia, USA