Renewable City

By on May 20, 2016 in News

Blessed with an average of 266 sunny days per year, it’s no surprise San Diego currently generates 189 megawatts of solar power. Though it boasts the second highest solar wattage in the country, the city doesn’t plan to rest on its laurels. Instead, this southern California metropolis of over 1 million has set its sights on something grander: tshutterstock_214456234o be largest U.S. city completely powered by renewable energy.

Known as the “birthplace of California,” this trans-border urban outpost sits at the center of U.S. innovation, playing host to military, biotechnology and medical research and manufacturing. Over the years, San Diego’s commitment to sustainability and environmentally focused city planning has resulted in an extensive infrastructure renaissance and citywide green initiatives.

With an eye on reducing carbon emissions and mitigating the effects of global warming, a bipartisan coalition led by Republican Mayor Kevin Faulconer unanimously approved the city’s Climate Action Plan last December. The goal is to cut greenhouse gas emissions and shift to 100% renewable energy sources by 2035. The Climate Action Plan also includes a goal of 90% solid waste recycling along with significant funding for public transportation.

“Today, we are faced with an issue that affects us all. Our city’s responsibility is to ensure a clean, sustainable San Diego for generations to come,” Faulconer writes in his introduction to the Climate Action Plan. “San Diegans from different backgrounds are coming together to proactively address environmental concerns, strengthen our economy and improve our quality of life.”

The Climate Action Plan includes practical policies designed to strike a balance between environmental protection and economic opportunity. Those strategies include improved water resource management, targeted public information campaigns, and green jobs incentives.

“We have an opportunity to improve the lives of every San Diegan,” concludes Faulconer. “This plan reflects our duty to preserve our children’s future. San Diego’s next chapter starts here.”

By transitioning to 100% renewable energy, San Diego joins an ever-expanding line-up of cities – from Vancouver to Copenhagen – committed to sustainable urban development and clean energy. More than 50 cities have made the 100% renewable pledge, promising to generate electricity and meeting heating and cooling need using only alternative sources.