100 U.S. Cities Pledge to Reach 100% Clean Energy

David Fessler By David Fessler
Energy and Infrastructure Strategist

Alternative Energy

When I started writing about renewable energy 12 years ago, my publisher smiled politely. She knew all the action was in oil and gas stocks.

The few public renewable energy companies were mostly penny stocks or thinly traded. No one was paying much attention to renewable energy.

What a difference a dozen years make…

Renewable energy is now front and center. U.S. consumers are increasingly demanding renewable energy in their homes, cities and states.

So far, 100 cities and three states have signed up to generate 100% of their electricity from carbon-free sources within a few decades. And 13 more states are putting together similar legislation.

By 2050, 42% of U.S. households could be powered by renewable energy. And they represent about 25% of U.S. GDP.

States Lead the Way

When it comes to U.S. energy policy, it seems President Trump wants to keep the U.S. firmly rooted in the 20th century. Reviving coal is at the top of his energy priority list.

Fortunately, there are plenty of states (both red and blue) that see the value in moving to renewable energy. So far, California, Hawaii and New Mexico all have goals to reach 100% renewable energy power generation.

Massachusetts is one of the states stepping up on the East Coast. It is hard at work on the first commercial-scale, offshore wind farm in the U.S.

New Jersey isn’t far behind. It already has a goal of 50% renewable electricity. But lawmakers are still developing the state’s Energy Master Plan.

That is expected to increase the state’s renewables target even further. It, too, has plans for a deepwater, offshore wind farm.

Illinois is another state with a high-carbon diet. But it’s doing an about-face.

Its governor recently signed on to the U.S. Climate Alliance. The 18 states in this pact all are committed to the Paris Agreement’s global climate change goals.

My home state, Pennsylvania, is the fourth-largest greenhouse gas emitter in the country – behind Texas, California and Florida.

In fact, it used to be one of the top coal producers in the country. Its anthracite coal was the most energy-dense coal in the world.

Today, Pennsylvania is the leading producer of natural gas from both the Marcellus and Utica shale formations. While still a fossil fuel, natural gas is much cleaner to burn than coal.

This year, legislators are introducing a bill to set the state on a 100% renewable path. By 2050, Pennsylvania should be running solely on renewables.

Not too far behind the states already mentioned are Colorado, Maine and New York. All three are focused on setting 100% renewable energy goals.

Cities Follow Closely

Last December, Cincinnati was the 100th city in the U.S. to commit to 100% renewables. So far in 2019, 16 more have signed on.

Six cities in the U.S. already get 100% of their electricity from renewable energy. They are Aspen, Colorado; Burlington, Vermont; Georgetown, Texas; Greensburg, Kansas; Rock Port, Missouri; and Kodiak Island, Alaska.

Worldwide, 209 cities have renewable energy goals. Momentum continues to build in the shift to renewable energy.

Investing in the renewable energy sector is one of my top recommendations for 2019 and beyond.

Good investing,

Dave

P.S. You can read more about renewable energy and its role in what I believe is the coming disruption in energy in my new book, The Energy Disruption Triangle, now available online.