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

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: In progress
  • 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

Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands

Bonaire

  • Target: 100% of renewable energy in the electrical system.
  • Status: In progress
  • RES: Hybrid wind-diesel power plant
  • Implementation: The Caribbean island of Bonaire is located 80km north of the Venezuelan coast. Its energy transition began in 2004 after the island’s sole diesel power plant was destroyed by a fire. Instead of re-building it, the government decided to convert Bonaire’s electricity system to one based on 100% renewable energy sources. The decision was driven by several aspects. Bonaire has close ties to Europe (being a special municipality of The Netherlands) where the share of renewable sources of electricity has been increasingly expanding. Financial support for the transition would come from Dutch Rabobank. The complete destruction of the old electric system presented an opportunity to build something new and innovative. So, while rented diesel generators served as a temporary power supply, the Bonaire government and the local utility closely collaborated in the planning of the energy transition. In 2007, the consortium “EcoPower Bonaire BV” signed the contract with the government-owned Water and Energy Company Bonaire (WEB) to construct a new green energy system, including wind power and biodiesel from algae. In August 2010, the world’s largest hybrid wind-diesel power plant went online. 12 wind turbines with a total wind power capacity of 11MW constituted the first element of Bonaire’s new power generation system. The wind turbines only contributes around 33% to the annual required electricity demand, but at times of peak wind the turbines can cover about 90% of the demand. A 6MWh battery storage for surplus electricity makes the overall system more reliable as it is capable of balancing power fluctuations in times of low wind. When the wind drops the battery provides 3MW for two minutes, which allows enough time to start the 14MW diesel power plant. The diesel generators run with heavy fuel oil, light fuel oil and biodiesel. The next step for Bonaire is the large-scale production of biodiesel from algae, which is currently under development. Besides decreasing the reliance on fuel imports and the impacts of fuel price volatility, the economic benefit of Bonaire’s renewable energy system is expected to return US$15 million annually, from a total investment of $55-60 million, which will be partly compensated by carbon credits.
  • Population: 18,905 (2015)
  • Area: 294 km2 (114 sq mi)
  • Link: https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2015/01/a-caribbean-island-says-goodbye-diesel-and-hello-100-percent-renewable-electricity.html
Bonaire

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

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

Cape Verde

Cape Verde

  • Target: 100% renewable energy by 2020, become a model for zero emissions on a global scale and a knowledge hub for several sub-regions.
  • Status: In progress
  • RES: Windpower
  • Implementation: Cape Verde is an island country spanning an archipelago of 10 volcanic islands in the central Atlantic Ocean. It is located 570 kilometres off the coast of Western Africa. In 2006, its Government adopted a law which sets out licensing procedures for independent power producers and auto-producers. In 2011, it determined a more detailed renewable energy policy framework to include a roadmap on how to reach the 100% RE target. The decision was based on scientific based discussions on the benefits of the goal. The high dependence on imported fossil fuels to meet its energy demand meant that a shift to 100% renewable energy was needed – especially as energy demand is predicted to rise. The Cape Verde government thus decided to invest renewable energy generation in order to not only provide electricity to inhabitants directly, but to also produce desalinated water, extend the energy grid, and provide energy storage options. To gain public support for the energy transition, the government held public consultations which were held in each of the four islands where wind projects would be built. Meanwhile, comprehensive Environmental and Social Impact Assessments were conducted. Local landowners were engaged in the siting of the projects and a consideration about securing grazing rights underneath the wind turbines was included in the course of involving the island's livestock herders.
  • Population: 539,560 (2016)
  • Area: 4,033 km2 (1,557 sq mi)
  • Link: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/partnership/?p=2271
Cape Verde

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago, Illinois, USA

  • Target: 100% renewable electricity by 2035
  • Status: In progress
  • RES: Solar energy
  • Implementation: Chicago is the largest city in the United States to commit to 100% renewable energy. Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, it is an international hub for finance, commerce, industry, technology, telecommunications, and transportation. Historically, Chicago has made noted contributions to urban planning and zoning standards, including new construction styles,  the development of the City Beautiful Movement, and the steel-framed skyscraper. Today, it continues its high standard of innovation by setting 100% RE as the basis for future urban development (even despite the 11 nuclear reactors already in operation in the state of Illinois). The 100% target is part of the  Resilient Chicago plan launched in 2018, which commits the city to transition "to 100% clean, renewable energy in buildings community-wide by 2035”. The plan is bolstered by the Sierra Club’s “Ready for 100” campaign, an environmental action group advocating 100% renewable energy worldwide.

    The city of Chicago has also set more specific sectoral targets. By 2025, all city government electricity purchases, first established in 2017, must come from 100% renewable sources. By 2040, the entire bus fleet will be electrified. The city is also making a push for community solar by supporting the Illinois Power Agency’s community incentive programs and by incentivizing community solar through voluntary programs, such as the Chicago Renewable Energy Challenge. Since the passage of the Future Energy Jobs Act, Chicago has seen a boom in community solar, with 1.8 GW of projects applying for block grants in just two weeks.
  • Population: 2,695,598 city, 9,533,040 metro (2010)
  • Area: 234.14 sq mi (606 km2) city, 10,874 sq mi (28,160 km2) metro
  • Link: http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/progs/env/chicago-renewable-energy-challenge-program.html
Chicago, Illinois, USA