More than 100 cities mostly powered by renewables

Solar panels with wind turbines in background (ACE Power)

More than 100 cities around the world get at least 70 per cent of their electricity from renewable sources, according to new data published by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).

CDP, a global environmental impact non-profit, holds information from more than 570 of the world’s cities.

The list includes large cities such as Auckland, New Zealand; Nairobi, Kenya; Oslo, Norway; Seattle, USA; and Vancouver, Canada, and is more than double the 40 cities who reported they were powered by at least 70 per cent clean energy in 2015.

“Cities are responsible for 70 per cent of energy-related CO2 emissions and there is immense potential for them to lead on building a sustainable economy,” CDP director of cities Kyra Applebee said.

“Reassuringly, our data shows much commitment and ambition.

“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.”

CDP’s analysis was released on Tuesday, on the same day the UK100 network of local government leaders announced more than 80 UK towns and cities have committed to 100 per cent clean energy by 2050, including Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle, Glasgow and 16 London boroughs.

According to the World Economic Forum, unsubsidised renewables were the cheapest source of electricity in 30 countries in 2017, with renewables predicted to be consistently more cost effective than fossil fuels globally by 2020.

Showing a diverse mix of energy sources, 275 cities are now reporting the use of hydropower, with 189 generating electricity from wind and 184 using solar photovoltaics. An additional 164 use biomass and 65 geothermal.

Burlington in the United States, Reykjavik in Iceland, and Basel in Switzerland are already 100 per cent powered by renewable sources.

Hobart is the only Australian inclusion on the list of renewable cities and LG Electronics Australia general manager marketing Angus Jones said Australians should be proud.

“Australian’s should be proud that Hobart generates more than 70 per cent of its energy from renewables, but we would like to see more Australian cities join this list,” he said.

“We are seeing Australians increasingly turning to solar to power their homes and businesses due to cost savings, environmental concerns and for power continuity.

“Australian cities should look to follow the example already set by so many Australians and make the switch to renewable energy sources.

“From ample sunlight we receive for solar, to the open spaces and bodies of water for wind and hydro energy, Australia is blessed with enough natural resources for every city in Australia to get its energy primarily from renewables.”