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70 Per Cent Access To Renewable Energy In Over 100 Cities Globally
Apr 17, 2018

More than 100 cities around the world now use renewable energy to provide 70 percent of their electricity, according to data released recently by the nonprofit Carbon Disclosure Program(CDP). Compared with the 40 cities in the 2015 list(over 70 per cent), the number has at least tripled and they have enormous potential for sustainable development. Cities such as Seattle, United States, Oslo, Norway, Vancouver, Canada and Nairobi, Kenya, all have 70 per cent access to electricity from renewable sources.
Statistics show that 275 cities use hydropower, while 189 and 184 cities rely on wind and solar power, respectively. Reykjavik, Iceland, is the most representative, with the former dominated by hydropower and geothermal power, while Burlington, the United States, finds power sources from wind, hydro, solar and biomass. In the United States, 58 cities, including Atlanta and Santiago, have plans to move towards 100 per cent clean and renewable energy.

A recent study by Finland and Germany also shows that at the current level of technology, it is possible to achieve 100 per cent renewable energy supply globally by 2025, with the ultimate goal of zero carbon emissions, at a cost lower than the 2015 average. The study predicts that by 2050, solar power will account for 57.55 per cent, wind power for 37.14 per cent, hydropower for 4 per cent, wave power for 0.58 per cent, geothermal power for 0.67 per cent and tidal power for 0.06 per cent.
In addition, a recent study by a joint team from the University of California, Irvine, the California Institute of technology, and the Carnegie Institute of science, shows that solar and wind power can meet 80 % of the electricity demand in the United States. The team looked at hourly weather data in the United States from 1980 to 2015 and learned about the barriers to solar and wind power alone. They looked at changes in solar and wind energy over time and space and compared them to the demand for electricity in the United States.It was concluded that 80 per cent of the required electricity could be obtained through the establishment of a continental transmission network.

In the United States, fossil fuel-based electricity production currently accounts for 38 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions, the main cause of global warming. Five years ago, many believed that wind and solar energy alone could cover only 20 to 30 per cent of total electricity demand.
Increasing transmission or storage capacity means huge investments, and the cost of new transmission lines can be as high as hundreds of billions of dollars, the joint scientific team said. In addition, there is a need to overcome the energy reserve challenges posed by seasonal and weather changes in order to meet the ideal level of 80 per cent of electricity demand. Steven Davis, associate professor of earth systems science at the University of California, Irvine, said: "If you want a reliable power system based on solar and wind energy, you have to think about how to cope with its daily and seasonal changes. Our work suggests that other low-carbon emission generation methods, such as nuclear power, are still needed to bridge the gap until the ultimate power storage and transmission capacity reaches the desired level. "