If all goes as planned in the next nine years, San Francisco will be able to claim that title! As Spring allowed the much needed sun to shine down on us, the sun sparked new ideas in the minds of the City by the Bay. About a week ago, newly appointed mayor (who was nominated to take Gavin Newsom’s vacant spot after his Lt Governor win) announced the city’s plan to become 100% Renewable Energy by 2020. The push for renewable energy is going to rely on the instillation of new solar panels throughout the city.
The announcement came during a gathering of 800 solar industry enthusiasts. Currently the city is receiving 12% of it’s energy from renewable sources, mainly from the nearby hydroelectric plant. Although 12% seems small, it actually lands San Francisco in the number two spot on Top Ten Cities For Renewable Energy, second only to it’s less famous neighbor across the Bay, Oakland who currently uses 17% Renewable Energy.
88% may seem like a lot of ground to gain, or should we say sun, in the next nine years. However, proponents of the announcement see it as a hopeful step in the right direction. The city already offers huge incentives to residents and businesses who install solar through their GoSolarSF program. Even former Mayor Gavin Newsom points out the progress this program has already done: “GoSolarSF has more than doubled the number of solar installations in our City and created dozens of jobs. This program is literally transforming how our homes and businesses generate and consume electricity rooftop by rooftop.”
With these incentives the city hopes to increase solar energy production, as well as hydroelectric and wind power. Many people say that trying to meet such a high goal is unrealistic, however as Grist explains, the city has far exceeded their goal to recycle 75% of waste, another goal that was deemed to ambitious. As this city has the history of meeting expectations, possibly setting the bar so high this time will be a great incentive. Plus, it would catapult San Francisco back on the top of the list of Top 10 Greenest Cities, as they were pushed to number two last year by green giant Portland, OR. Here’s to being on top again!