When people think about San Francisco, they often see it as a trailblazing city — home to some of the most innovative companies and forward-thinkers. It should come as no surprise then that the city has been leading the way on the renewable energy front. City leadership has been very vocal about its ambitious goals for San Francisco, especially when it comes to renewable energy.
Mayor Ed Lee has made it his mission to push the city ahead, aiming to have 50% of the city’s electricity needs covered by renewable energy production by 2020 — a decade ahead of California’s goal. As of 2017, the city was getting 44% of its electricity from renewable sources like wind turbines and solar panels. That leaves a 6% difference to make up, which is no small feat.
Leading the Way in Sustainable Energy Dependence
If California is passionate about going green, the San Francisco is sold-out. By bumping up the target goal by a decade, the city shows how much they are making sustainable energy dependence a priority.
So how does a city as big and populated as San Francisco pull off the push towards sustainable energy dependence? A major chunk of the energy will be provided by CleanPowerSF, which is a green energy program that is run by the city. As of now, the program already pulls nearly half of its electricity from renewable energy sources, with plans to increase that percentage more and more with time.
In just a year’s time, CleanPowerSF is aiming to have the ability to power around 320,000 homes and businesses across San Francisco. The cost and health benefits of installing more renewable energy options make this move extremely attractive to local residents and businesses alike, garnering it much needed support to move forward.
What Does the Future Hold for the Bay Area?
While it is an ambitious move, the city leaders are confident that they have the ability to make the transition. Over the years, the renewable energy economy has thrived in the Bay Area, which helps drive prices down and makes the resources more accessible and affordable. This means the city could not only produce much of the renewable energy but purchase the rest from the plethora of wind and solar sources available in Northern California.
With a long-term goal of being 100% reliable on renewable energy by 2030, San Francisco is going to have to continue pushing back against big players like PG&E to pursue a more sustainable future. Continued patience and persistence are key for this city to continue its march towards a greener tomorrow.