Sustainable Energy

More than 100 cities get most of their electricity from renewables, analysis shows

Key Points
  • Over 40 cities said to be running on 100 percent renewable electricity.
  • More than 100 cities get at least 70 percent of their electricity from renewable sources.
Jose Fusta Raga | Corbis Documentary | Getty Images

Over 100 cities now obtain at least 70 percent of their electricity from renewable sources, according to data from the non-profit CDP.

The analysis, published Tuesday, paints a picture of an ongoing shift towards renewables, with more than 40 cities — including Reykjavik, Iceland, and Basel, Switzerland – said to be running on 100 percent renewable electricity. The CDP, previously known as the Carbon Disclosure Project, has energy information on more than 570 cities worldwide.

Cities receiving at least 70 percent of their electricity from renewables include Seattle, Washington; Oslo, Norway; Vancouver, Canada; and Nairobi, Kenya. The CDP said that its 2018 list was more than double the 40 cities who reported being powered by at least 70 percent clean energy in 2015.

"Cities are responsible for 70 percent of energy-related CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions and there is immense potential for them to lead on building a sustainable economy," Kyra Appleby, the CDP's director of cities, said in a statement.

"Reassuringly, our data shows much commitment and ambition," Appleby added. "Cities not only want to shift to renewable energy but, most importantly, they can. We urge all cities to disclose to us, work together to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and prioritize the development of ambitious renewable energy procurement strategies. The time to act is now."

The CDP said that 275 cities were now using hydropower, while 189 cities were producing electricity from wind and 184 were using solar photovoltaics.

Reykjavik, the CDP said, sourced all of its electricity from hydropower and geothermal, while Burlington, Vermont, gets all its electricity from wind, hydro, solar and biomass.

"Through our diverse mix of biomass, hydro, wind and solar, we have seen first-hand that renewable energy boosts our local economy and creates a healthier place to work, live and raise a family," Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger said. "We encourage other cities around the globe to follow our innovative path as we all work toward a more sustainable energy future."