The benefits of renewable energy are plentiful, and cities across the world are making huge strides to ditch fossil fuels for good. In fact, 102 urban areas now get at least 70 percent of their energy from renewable resources, according to an encouraging report by the non-profit environmental impact researcher CDP.
The 102 cities which made CDP’s list are relying on renewable sources such as hydro, geothermal, solar, and wind to provide at least 70 percent of their electricity. “Cities not only want to transition to renewable energy but, most importantly - as our data shows - they can,” the report states.
The data was presented on CDP’s website, using a map which shows progress made across the globe over the past three years. The 102 cities listed in the report is a huge jump from January 2015, when just 40 cities fit the criteria.
CDP particularly praised the Swiss city of Basel, where 100 percent of renewable power comes from the city's own energy supply company. It also gave an honorable mention to the capital of Iceland, Reykjavik, where geothermal and hydro-power are "powering much of the city” and a plan is in place to make all cars and public transit fossil-free by 2040.
In the US, the city of Burlington, Vermont, received a shout-out due to all of its electricity now coming from wind, solar, hydro, and biomass. “And it’s done so without increasing household energy bills,” CDP wrote.
The report noted that some 58 US cities and towns have now committed to transitioning to 100 percent renewables.
African countries are also jumping on board, with CDP noting that there is "immense solar and wind power potential" across many nations on the continent. It said that Dar es Salaam, Tanzania is "tapping into the benefits," along with Harare, Zimbabwe, and Mazabuka, Zambia. "Meanwhile in Nairobi, Kenya, geothermal power is helping them meet energy needs with clean sources,” the report states.
The outlook for the future is even more encouraging, according to CDP. “With some 275 cities now reporting the use of hydropower, 189 generating electricity from wind and 184 using solar photovoltaics, we expect to see more cities targeting 100 percent renewable energy,” it wrote.
The data presented by CDP comes directly from the 570+ countries that report to the organization. “Here at CDP, we urge all cities to share their knowledge, tell us about their environmental plans, and make ambitious targets to procure renewable energy. The time to act is now,” the organization stated.
Meanwhile, CDP isn’t the only body which believes renewable energy will only continue to grow in popularity. The International Energy Agency stated in November that it expects to see a global renewables electricity generation grow by more than one-third by 2022.
Text: Lynsey Free