The global transition to 100% renewable energy is not an idea for someday, but actually already under way. Cities, regions, nations, businesses and institutions representing millions of people have already set, reached, or surpassed 100% renewable energy targets in at least the electricity sector, if not also for heating/cooling and transportation. Click here for more information.
Numerous experts agree that the biggest hurdle to going 100% renewable is not technical or financial but political. Technologies to get us to 100% renewable energy exist and are getting cheaper and more sophisticated all the time. Building the political will in the face of entrenched interests is the largest challenge, and this is up to we the people. Click here and here for opinions from some of the world’s top experts.
Action today is critical because decisions about what energy system we have in the future are happening now. Regulations, policies, and energy infrastructure choices impact investments and how we get our energy for decades to come. If we want to see decentralized 100% renewable energy in twenty or thirty years, we need to make sure the right decisions get made in the next few years.
100% renewable energy is not a question of if, but of when, how, and who will lead and profit. Non-renewable energy sources, by definition, will only deplete. In the meantime, continued dependence on them is causing multiple crises. If we want energy, transitioning to 100% renewable sources is inevitable. The real issues are when we do it, how we get there, and who is going to move quickly and reap the greatest benefits.
Renewable energy targets of less than 100% lead to inefficient and piecemeal planning. Building any complex system is best done with the big picture in mind. 100% renewable energy goals require planners to think efficiently and comprehensively when designing and implementing energy systems. Click here for more on one top expert’s views on this.
Giving power to the people speeds up the renewable energy transition and drives down costs. All over the world, it is evident that the more communities and individuals in every part of society have opportunities to invest in renewable energy development, the faster it goes and the lower the cost of renewable technology adoption. By taking back the power from the local utility monopoly to buy and sell electricity for their communities, Marin and Sonoma Counties in California can offer more renewable electricity for less money to their citizens and businesses. Read here for more on how Germany’s renewable energy revolution happened by putting power and profits in the hands of the people.
Support for 100% renewable energy transcends partisan, cultural, and socio-economic lines. The frontrunner leaders of the growing 100% renewable energy movement are a remarkable mix of conservative and progressive, urban and rural, wealthy and developing. Their circumstances and priorities may differ, but what they have in common is recognition that renewable energy adds value to them and their communities.
100% renewable energy targets are a big opportunity for local and regional leadership – and benefit. While several countries like Denmark, Scotland and Island nations have now adopted 100% renewable mandates, the first adopters tend to be local and regional governments. This is because these bodies are more agile, their leaders feel the impacts of energy decisions most directly, and renewable energy solutions lend themselves to decentralized approaches that benefit local communities with jobs, tax income, private investment, control over energy choices, environmental stewardship and other forms of added value. Read more here.
100% renewable energy targets in the business sector have gone from pipedream to mainstream. According to the EPA, more than 1000 businesses in the United States alone have adopted 100% renewable electricity goals. It’s not just the typical “green” brands that are recognizing that renewable energy is good for their bottom line, but household names like Staples, Ikea, BMW and Apple have jumped on board. The Business for Environment (B4E), which is among the biggest international business conferences to focus on sustainability issues, also officially advocates for 100% renewable energy. Read more here.
There is no one formula fits all for how to achieve 100% renewable energy targets. Each community, whether in the public or private sector, needs to determine what its values and resources are. However, there are best practices that have begun to emerge that result in quicker and more economical success. Click here for lessons learned in local governments. (Link coming soon.) Click here for tips for the business sector.