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

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

Boulder, Colorado, USA

Boulder, Colorado, USA

  • Target: 100% renewable electricity community wide by 2030, interim goal of 40% renewable electricity/50 MW local installations by 2020
  • Status: In progress
  • RES: Solar energy
  • Implementation: Boulder is a small city located in the state of Colorado Rocky Mountains. In December 2016, the City Council voted to commit the City to 80% reduction in community greenhouse gas emissions below 2005 levels by 2050, 100% renewable electricity by 2030, and 80% reduction in organization greenhouse gas emissions below 2008 levels by 2030. At the time of the plan's adoption, 99% of Boulder's energy for electricity, heating, and transportation came from burning fossil fuels. Roughly half of the City's GHG emissions were coming from electricity. Approximately 22% of electricity was being generated by renewables, with approximately 30 MW of local renewable power generation installed. More than half of this was local solar installations.

    By 2030, an all renewable electricity system aims to include 100 MW of local renewables, which will increase to 175 MW by 2050. This increase signals the City's strategy in moving towards 80% electrification. Electric vehicles and heat pumps for example will replace equipment formerly supplied by natural gas, and will demand greater electricity supply.

    To transition to all renewable electricity, Boulder's plan relies on a three part strategy. First is to reduce energy consumption. City-funded pilot projects aim to integrate efficiency with on-site generation and natural gas and petroleum replacement strategies. The City plans to expand demand side management services through the implementation of a municipal utility in lieu of the historic investor owned utility. To lower costs of owning on-site solar, the City plans to establish collective purchase agreements that allow groups to own solar projects. This can help reduce the overall demand for the municipal utility to supply electricity and scale up renewable energy procurement or installation. Second is to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy. The City plan to analyse renewable generation and storage opportunities to replace fossil generation, as well as strategies for replacing natural gas and petroleum-based transportation. Third is to re-design critical community infrastructure and operations through mapping and strengthening resiliency and protection against power failure.
  • Population: 108,090 (2016)
  • Area: 25.85 sq mi (66.95 km2)
  • Link: https://bouldercolorado.gov/energy-future
Boulder, Colorado, USA

Bruchmühlbach-Miesau, Germany

Bruchmühlbach, Germany

  • Target: 100% renewable energy
  • Status: Achieved
  • RES: Wind farms, biogas cogeneration plants, a solar PV plant, and rooftop solar systems.
  • Implementation: The municipality of Bruchmühlbach-Miesau consists of several small towns and villages, located in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate in the west of Germany. The town of Miesau in particular is well-known for the “Miesau Army Depot” (the largest American ammunition depot outside the US). The town is also just a few miles from the famous Rammstein Airbase and Landstuhl Medical Centre. Today, Bruchsmühlbach-Miesau is also known for its 100% renewable energy supply systems. In order to achieve this 100% goal, the mayor initially approached the US Army authorities with the plan of placing a 1-MW solar PV plant on the roof of storage buildings within the military base. The project was finally approved in 2012 by the local American military authorities and the national German authorities, and following this success, the municipality began planning for a biogas cogeneration plant to be built, also with the US base's cooperation.

    The plants proposed were to help boost the municipality's existing energy infrastructure. By then, it already operated a wind farm consisting of 10 turbines that generated about 37 GWh/a, a biogas plant that generated 2.7 GWh/a, and over 200 rooftop solar systems generating 2 GWh/a.  When a 5 turbine wind farm was completed in 2013, it produced an additional 47 GWh/a. At this point the community of Bruchsmühlbach-Miesau was able to produce 290% of its electricity demand. The wind farms especially enjoyed good support in the area due to strong local participation and the emphasis on regional value creation.

  • Population: 10,500
  • Area: 26.86 km2 (10.37 sq mi)
  • Link: https://cleantechnica.com/2012/04/23/us-military-cooperates-in-german-small-town-energy-revolution/
Bruchmühlbach, Germany

Brunico (Bruneck), Italy

Brunico (Bruneck), Italy

  • Target: 100% renewable energy
  • Status: Achieved
  • RES: Solar thermal systems, solar photovoltaics, small hydro plants, biomass plant, biogas plant, and district heating network.
  • Implementation: Brunico, Italy is a town in South Tyrol. Today, the town is producing more electricity and heat than it consumes. It has an array of renewable energy systems installed. For heating, it has 840 m² of rooftop solar thermal systems supplying water heating, a 120 km district heating network fed by a 9 MW biomass plant and a 1.5 MW biogas plant near a landfill site supplies heat for more than 2000 buildings. Electricity for around 1500 families comes from 3 MW of rooftop photovoltaic panels, small hydro plants totalling 4.4 MW, and a 20 MW biogas plant that is fed by wood waste. The town additionally has a large 46.3 MW hydro project from its prior electricity system that is not counted toward the renewable energy total. The elementary school and fire station are entirely energy independent with their solar PV installations of 32 kW and 64 kW respectively. Brunico’s School Centre is additionally able to meet part of its heating requirements with 750 m² of vacuum tube collectors that heat up 3000 m³ of undeground tanks. The hot water is pumped through radiators and radiant floor heating panels.

    To support Brunico’s renewable energy commitment, town policy requires  that all local buildings meet up to 25% of their own energy needs with renewable sources, including 50% of their hot water demand. Italy's feed-in tariff law, like the German feed-in tariff provides a great incentive to the town. The law guarantees connection to the grid for renewable energy producers of all sizes and reasonably priced payment differentiated by technology for all the renewable electricity they generate.
  • Population: 15,491 (2010)
  • Area: 45 km2 (17 sq mi)
  • Link: https://www.stadtwerke.it
Brunico (Bruneck), Italy

Burlington, Vermont, USA

Burlington, Vermont, USA

  • Target: Meet 90% of energy needs including electricity, heating and transport with renewable energy sources by 2050 (State of Vermont target).
  • Status: Achieved - By September 2014, 100% of the city's electricity demand was supplied by renewable energy sources. First city in the United States to source 100% of electricity from renewable energy.
  • RES: Biomass, wind power, small hydroelectric plants, solar, landfill methane and large hydro.
  • Implementation: In 2014, the city purchased the Winooski One Hydroelectric Facility, a 7.4 megawatt hydro plant. Burlington Electric Department (BED) purchases renewable electricity credits to satisfy 100% yearly target. Joseph C. McNeil Generating Station fed with biomass covers up to 60% of the energy consumption. Wind farms covers around 17% of the electricity consumption.
  • Population: 42,239
  • Area: 40.1 km²
  • Link: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/11/burlington-what-works-green-energy-214463
Burlington, Vermont, USA

Canberra, ACT, Australia

Canberra, ACT, Australia

  • Target: 100% renewable electricity supply by 2020.
  • Status: In progress - 47MW renewable energy capacity (2013) in Australian Capital Territory (ACT).
  • RES: Wind and solar farms.
  • Implementation: Canberra covers the 100% through auctioning, meaning the purchase of electricity from several wind and solar farms. Until 2017, the government commissioned three solar and three windfarms to respectively provide 44MW and 200MW, accounting for 60% renewables. Additional 200MW wind and 50MW solar capacity are to cover the interim target of 90% by 2020. Increased annual electricity bills by 2020 are to be partly compensated by annual average savings  through the free replacement of downlights. Investments will be made in renewable research programmes and training, as well as the building of headquarters and maintenance facilities . So far, AUD $400 million local investments have been achieved in the auctioning process.
  • Population: 410,301
  • Area: 814.2 km²
  • Link: https://www.environment.act.gov.au/energy/cleaner-energy/renewable-energy-target-legislation-reporting

 

Canberra, ACT, Australia