Coelbe District, Germany

Kasseler Straße, Cölbe, Germany

  • Target: 100% renewable energy overall for the community by 2040
  • Status: In progress
  • RES: Solar and biomass energy.
  • Implementation: Coelbe district in Germany is made up of six rural communities (Bernsdorf, Buergeln, Coelbe, Reddehausen, Schoenstadt and Schwarzenborn), located in the state of Hessen. In 2011, the Coelbe government unanimously decided across political party lines to set a community wide target of using only renewable energy resources to meet demand by the year 2040. Similarly in January 2012, the state of Hessen decided  to transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050.
    Coelbe has created a climate protection plan that lays out how they will achieve the 100% target. The plan takes into account appropriate technologies, costs, integration with climate goals, public relations, and action steps. Coelbe anticipates that by transitioning to renewable energy and efficiency upgrades, it will save up to € 5 million in energy costs annually. Milestones achieved so far include solar panel installations on several municipal properties. The largest generates enough electricity to meet more than 10% of Coelbe's power demand. It is jointly owned by the municipality and by individuals who have personally invested in shares or certificates that generate 6.8% returns, ensuring that the local citizens and community reap the economic benefits of the solar system. Another example of community's energy transition is a heating grid in Schoenstadt built by the village cooperative, fueled by wood chips from the local saw mill, and which supplies heat for 80% of the village buildings. Such projects have attracted visitors from other countries to come learn best practices and have engaged local community members to volunteer to help manage them.
  • Population: 11600 (2017)
  • Area: 73 km2 (28.18 sq mi)
  • Link: https://www.coelbe.de/energie/mein-coelbe/111-energie/173-erneuerbare-energien
Kasseler Straße, Cölbe, Germany

Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia

Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia

  • Target: 100% RE by 2030, with an interim target of 25% in 2020 and 50% in 2025.
  • Status: In progress -  In 2014 already 39% of all Coffs Harbour households or businesses have installed rooftop solar PV systems.
  • RES: Solar power and energy-efficient street lighting
  • Implementation: Coffs Harbour City Council set a 100% RE as a corporate, organisational target for itself in March 2015. Although the target did not apply to the rest of the city area, its aim was to make the Council a role model of sustainability to the Coffs Harbour area. The Council committed to reducing annual corporate CO2 emissions by 25% on 2010 levels by 2020 and by 50% by 2025. In 2004, it was the first council in Australia to introduce energy-efficient street lighting across its entire local government area. In 2010, the Council installed the largest public rooftop solar power array in NSW on the top of Rigby House which saves $30,000 per annum in electricity costs. It has also installed solar panels at the local Botanic Gardens. In October 2013, Council adopted a Climate Change Policy. It adopted an energy fund for investment into efficiency works and renewables that will be financed through 10% of the difference in costs between the black and green energy purchased by Council, or AUS$100,000 a year, whichever is the greater. A Coffs Harbour Emissions Reduction Plan (CHERP) has been effective from January 2016, which sets out a framework on how the Council monitors, reviews and reports on its emissions and RE.
  • Population: 70,000 (2017)
  • Area: 1,175 km2
  • Link: https://www.coffscoastadvocate.com.au/news/council-sets-ambitious-energy-and-emissions-target/2579807/
Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia

Columbia, South Carolina, USA

South Carolina State House, Columbia, South Carolina, USA

  • Target: 100% renewable energy by 2036
  • Status: In progress
  • RES: Solar energy
  • Implementation: As the first municipality in South Carolina to commit to 100% renewable energy, the city of Columbia today powers its municipal buildings with 100% solar energy and all of the traffic lights have been converted to LED. When record downpours in 2015 caused severe flooding in Columbia, destroying roads and dams, causing billions of dollars in damage, and costing 19 people their lives, its Mayor Steve Benjamin pushed to address the growing threat of climate disruption by supporting clean energy legislation at state and local levels. In June 2017, Columbia adopted its clean energy resolution. To meet this goal, the city planned to implement  a thorough energy efficiency audit, a solar-powered wastewater facility, and transition municipal operations to 100% renewable energy. These efforts would run parallel to sustainable water management and wastewater infrastructure improvements that are designed to guard against future flooding. Community health was another motivation for the 100% target, as this impacted by fossil-fuel pollution and natural disasters. The resolution also emphasizes economic growth, job creation, and reduced utility costs. The city makes use of the Solarize South Carolina program and legislation that not only lifted the cap on net metering and rooftop solar, but also help increase solar energy–related jobs in Columbia by 46% in just one year (2015-2016). Columbia did face some setbacks - solar legislation stipulated a cap if solar output reached 2% of peak energy production.  Rapid growth of solar energy in Columbia and other parts of the state triggered this cap several years sooner than expected, which may have resulted in the loss of many solar-related jobs and a drop in solar power usage. A bill that proposed allowing new customers to install home solar panels failed at the state level. Also, plans to develop a solar-powered wastewater facility were stalled by the 2015 floods, and the local utility backed out. The city has now taken up the project and is looking to redesign and build the facility itself. In December 2017, Columbia became the only city in South Carolina to receive a 3-star certification by STAR Communities, a measure of local sustainability progress against national standards. The city has set a goal to improve its rating from 3 stars to 4 (out of a possible 5) over the next three years.
  • Population: 133,451 (2018)
  • Area: 134.9 sq mi (349 km2)
  • Link: https://www.columbiasc.net/mayor/initiatives/clean-energy
South Carolina State House, Columbia, South Carolina, USA

Communauté de Communes du Mené, France

Pontrieux, Le Mené, France

  • Target: 100% Renewable Energy by 2030
  • Status: In progress
  • RES: Biomass and biogas energy.
  • Implementation: The Communauté de Communes du Mené is composed of 7 villages in Mené, located in the Côtes d'Armor region in Brittany, France. Due to the abundance in  agricultural resources and the need to boost their local economy, they decided to embark on a plan to achieve 100% renewable based on local energy, by 2030. It all began in  the early 2000's when local farmers began to seriously worry about their impact on the environment and local economic development. To tackle this challenge, they first set themselves an interim target of becoming zero net energy--that is producing as much energy as it consumes--for heating and electricity by 2012. Since then, several milestones has been reached. In 2007, a facility that produces rapeseed oil and diesel for tractors was opened in Saint Gouéno . The plant also makes cattle cake that is used by local dairy farmers (which eliminated the need to import soy cattle cake from Brazil). In two other Communes in Mené, locally grown wood was sourced to generate heating for 4500 square meters of buildings, which soon replaced 300 tonnes of petroleum based heating oil. Heating systems will also add wood from a plantation irrigated by waste water from Géotexia, a new biogas plant. Work is underway on a 25 MW wind farm, and 35 new zero-energy residential buildings are being developed.
  • Population: 6 453 (2012)
  • Area: 163,23 km²
  • Link: https://www.mene.fr/environnement-developpement-durable/les-energies/
Pontrieux, Le Mené, France

Concord, New Hampshire, USA

Concord, New Hampshire, USA

  • Target: 100% renewable electricity by 2030, 100% clean energy in all sectors by 2050
  • Status: In progress
  • RES: Solar and wind power
  • Implementation: The state capital of Concord has received strong support from public, private, and faith-based sectors in its goal to achieve a clean energy future, joining three other New Hampshire cities in this quest. The city has begun the planning process to achieve its clean energy goals. On July 9, 2018, the Concord City Council voted unanimously to work toward 100% clean and renewable energy. The resolution already received plenty community support, with endorsements from the State Employees Association, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Concord, the Chamber of Commerce, and the editorial board of The Concord Monitor. The capital’s largest private sector employer, Concord Hospital, was also supportive of the initiative. Concord’s resolution states that Concord Energy and the Environment Advisory Committee will work with the city government to create a stakeholder committee that will help shape Concord’s strategic energy plan. This measure is intended to ensure that every part of the Concord community is able to offer input on the plan, which the city plans to gather through public meetings. Within the first year, the Energy and Environment Committee will lead the development of a strategic plan to establish feasible pathways to complete the transition to 100% clean energy.

    The city has already taken steps in implementation. It is planning the development of a large solar photovoltaic facility on the city’s closed landfill. It is developing changes to the local zoning ordinance to accommodate the siting of solar projects. It is investigating opportunities to use New Hampshire’s Volkswagen settlement money to invest in electric-vehicle charging infrastructure in the city. It is engaging in discussions with major city institutions, local gas and electric utilities, and state policymakers about how best to achieve the adopted renewable energy goals. Concord is also making use of statewide legislation that promotes clean energy for all New Hampshire residents. These measures include tax incentives for individuals, businesses, and nonprofits, as well as net metering for homeowners using solar- or wind-generated power.
  • Population: 43,412 (2018)
  • Area: 67.5 sq mi (174.8 km2)
  • Link: 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY GOAL STRATEGIC PLAN (Draft)
Concord, New Hampshire, USA

Cook Islands

Cook Islands

  • Target: Eliminate carbon emissions by 2020.
  • Status: In progress
  • RES: Solar photovoltaic arrays
  • Implementation: The Cook Islands depend heavily on imported fuels and the cost of electricity based on these fuels is very high. Although nearly all households in the Cook Islands are connected to grid electricity, only 5.5% of households have additional solar photovoltaic systems installed, and 1% use small diesel generators. Several actions have taken place throughout the islands to increase the uptake of renewable energy. In the country's south, the Asian Development Bank's Ordinary Capital Resources has loaned US$11.19 to help fund solar projects. The EU has invested US$7.26 million, and the Cook Islands government has added an in-kind contribution of US$5.83 million. The total funding for the build out comes with an installation target in megawatts. The solar projects is expected to save 1.09 million liters of diesel consumption annually, and cut carbon dioxide emissions by 2,930 tons. This project will assist the Cook Islands government’s Office of the Energy Commissioner and the Renewable Energy Development Division in developing an energy efficiency policy implementation plan. In May 2015, the Government of New Zealand announced the completion of solar array projects in Rakahanga, Pukapuka, Nassau, Palmerston, and on the northern Cook islands of Penrhyn and Manihiki, where solar photovoltaic panels are expected to provide over 95 per cent of the electricity needs for the villages they connect to and deliver power to more than 230 homes and public buildings.
  • Population: 17,379 (2016)
  • Area: 236.7 km2 (91.4 sq mi)
  • Link: http://www.mfem.gov.ck/447-cook-islands-renewable-energy-chart-planning
Cook Islands

Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen, Denmark

  • Target: Carbon neutral capital by 2025.
  • Status: In progress
  • RES: Windpower, solar energy, biomass cogeneration plants, biogas and hybrid buses, electrical and hydrogen-powered cars, and energy retrofitted buildings.
  • Implementation: The city of Copenhagen, Denmark, aims at be a carbon neutral capital by 2025. In 2014, the city received the European Green Capital Award and in 2013 the Climate Leadership Prize. In 2009, Copenhagen City Council adopted a 2015 climate plan for the city, which resulted in a reduction of COemissions by 21% by 2011 in comparison to 2005 figures. To reach the 2025 carbon free target, the city will focus on four main areas: energy consumption, energy production, mobility, and city administration initiatives. It includes the construction of land and offshore wind turbines, energy retrofitted buildings, implementation of Low-Energy Construction in all buildings, and promotion of solar energy. In addition to that, the city plans the switch from coal to biomass in heat and power plants, geothermal plant, more renewable energy in the country´s electricity grid, and the obligation of energy companies to save energy. The capital is also taking into account the stricter European regulations on fuel efficiency, the promotion of cycling, biogas and hybrid buses, and the introduction of electrical and hydrogen-powered cars. The city administration is reducing its own energy consumption in its buildings by 40% in comparison to 2010, and is fuelling all city administration vehicles with electricity, hydrogen, or biofuels.. The constant evaluation and follow-up of the city's Plan is secured through the preparation of an annual report and meeting of various stakeholders for dialogue and benchmarking. In addition to that, three general evaluations of the plan would occur: in 2015-2016 to evaluate the period 2013-2016, in 2019-2020 to evaluate the period 2017-2020, and in 2025-2026 when the final evaluation of the plan will take place.
  • Population: 777,218 (city), 2,057,737 (metro) (2018)
  • Area: 178.46 km2 (68.90 sq mi)(city), 1,767.52 km2(682.44 sq mi)(metro)
  • Link: https://international.kk.dk/artikel/carbon-neutral-capital
Copenhagen, Denmark

Costa Rica

Fortuna, Costa Rica

  • Target: Achieve 100% RE in the electricity sector and to be ‘carbon neutral’, by 2021.
  • Status: In progress - In 2017, Costa Rica supplies around  93% of its total electricity needs from renewable energy sources, mostly from domestic hydro.
  • RES: Hydropower (majority share), solar, biogas, geothermal and wind power.
  • Implementation: Since decreasing rainfall in the future will pose a risk to the electricity system, Costa Rica is diversifying its electricity mix by developing other forms of renewable energy, such as solar, biogas, geothermal, and wind power. The plan is for the state-owned The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) to purchase power from independent power producers in Costa Rica over 15-year contracts. This will mean a gradual decentralization of the electricity system. The country is also encouraging the broader adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), given that transportation represents approximately 44% of final energy consumption. Targeted incentives for the import and sale of EVs as well as for the development of charging infrastructure is offered by the government. 
  • Population: 4,857,274 (2016)
  • Area: 51,100 km2(19,700 sq mi)
  • Link: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/feb/25/costa-rica-plan-decarbonize-2050-climate-change-fight
Fortuna, Costa Rica

Del Mar, California, USA

Del Mar, California, USA

  • Target: 100% renewable electricity by 2035
  • Status: In progress
  • RES: Solar energy
  • Implementation: Del Mar is a small coastal city in San Diego County, California. In June 2016, its City Council committed by vote to transition the community to 100% renewable electricity by 2035 as part of a municipal climate action plan. The plan includes an interim target of 50% renewable electricity by 2020. Del Mar's 100% renewable electricity goal is in line with the energy goals of neighbouring City of San Diego, as well as the state goal of 80% greenhouse gas emissions reductions below 1990 levels by 2050. This goal also aims to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions to at least 50 percent below the city's baseline 2012 values by 2035.

    To achieve 100% renewable electricity, the city is exploring the adoption of a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program with either local cities or San Diego County. CCA is a state law in California and several other US states that allow local governments in Investor Owned Utility (IOU) territories to aggregate their community's bulk buying power to procure electricity at best rates on the wholesale market or through direct contracts with power producers, and in turn sell it back to constituents. The IOUs continue to manage and charge fees for grid services. This method has been shown to help local communities procure higher shares of renewable electricity and offer it to their residents and commercial customers at a lower rate than their local IOU.

    The City of Del Mar aims to achieve 91% of their renewable electricity supply with a combination of utility scale procurement and distributed solar PV, and the rest using Renewable Energy Credits. Other strategies include encouraging the local IOU (SDG&E ) to achieve 100 percent renewable energy procurement by 2035, installing solar PV on new City Hall and other City facilities, with battery storage systems; introducing EV charging stations and replacing the municipal fleet with e-vehicles.
  • Population: 4,365 (2016)
  • Area: 1.78 sq mi (4.60 km2)
  • Link: https://www.delmar.ca.us/680/Go-Green-Del-Mar
Del Mar, California, USA

Denmark

Copenhagen, Denmark

  • Target: Phase out fossil fuel use entirely in all energy sectors (including transportation) by 2050.
  • Status: In progress - In 2011, the share of renewable energy in the transportation mix was less than 1%, compared to a share of approximately 40% in the electricity mix.
  • RES: Wind and solar power, combined heat and power systems, renewable forms of heating such as solar thermal, ground-source heat pumps, and wood-based biomass.
  • Implementation: Denmark’s domestic energy policy aims at 100% transition of the energy system toward renewable energy technologies by significant expansions of wind and solar power as well as the continued installation of combined heat and power (CHP) systems. In the heating sector, Denmark is expanding the use of biogas, solar thermal, ground-source heat pumps, and wood-based biomass. It plans to increase the use of electric vehicles and public transit. Denmark is relying greatly on fiscal policies (feed-in tariff, a net metering framework, environmental taxes) to achieve its 100% renewable energy objectives. There are taxes on fossil fuels and carbon pollution. This increases the costs of gasoline, diesel, coal, and heating oil but makes the use of local, renewable sources of energy more attractive. There are also tax incentives or cash grants to encourage specific technologies, such as electric vehicles. Also is a focus on energy efficiency which correlates to current EU plans (20% reduction in energy use by 2020). This means increasing energy efficiency in existing buildings via extensive retrofitting and raising the standards on all new construction. To increase broader electrification, Denmark is also converting its wind resources into thermal form (e.g. feeding wind power into the district heating system and into on-site water heaters) as well as into battery storage for the transport system. Solar thermal technologies will supply heat directly into the country’s district heating systems. Denmark also plans to expand the use of renewable energy in its island regions, such as the Faroe Islands. Expansion of transmission links with neighbouring Germany and Sweden will allow more imports and exports of renewable electricity. Good public support for the 100% strategy has been due to a high level of energy and environmental awareness among its citizens and its politicians, cultivated since the 1973 oil crisis (and even before). Denmark also benefits from a small population, a highly educated workforce, and a number of reputable private and public organisations to support the strategy's implementation. Denmark expects planned investments to be around EUR 750 Million, with savings in energy costs of around EUR 920 Million, both by 2020.
  • Population: 5,806,015 (2018)
  • Area: 2,220,930 km2(857,510 sq mi)
  • Link: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/10/denmark-wind-windfarm-power-exceed-electricity-demand
Copenhagen, Denmark