On September 20, 2018, the City of Cleveland became the first city in the state of Ohio to commit to powering itself with 100% clean energy. Building off our Cleveland Climate Action Plan (CAP), Mayor Frank G. Jackson announced his commitment to combat climate change by transitioning Cleveland to 100% clean and renewable energy sources by 2050. At the heart of this goal is the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80% over a 2010 baseline by 2050.
To help us achieve this critical goal, we secured grant funding from Partners for Places, The Cleveland Foundation, the George Gund Foundation, and the United Black Fund of Greater Cleveland, and assembled a core team, including Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, Cray Consulting Group, Greenlink Analytics, and our funders to understand what it would take to meet this goal. Together we developed Cleveland’s Clean and Equitable Energy Future report, an action-oriented roadmap the City can follow for successful implementation of the 100% clean energy transition by 2050. You can find the full report here and an FAQ sheet here.
“As a City, we have a long commitment to sustainability which includes focusing on reducing emissions, said Mayor Jackson. “This report builds on our utility-level efforts, and includes things that residents, businesses, and the City can do to generate more clean electricity locally and to increase energy efficiency. One of the key takeaways is that existing state energy policy limits what we can do locally. Without a more comprehensive state energy policy focused on clean energy and energy efficiency, we cannot maximize the positive impact for our residents and neighborhoods.”
Greenlink Analytics – a national leader on carbon footprint accounting, utility resource planning, and environmental/social impact assessment — provided a deep analysis of current and projected future energy use by the City of Cleveland and the Cleveland community. In the report, Greenlink Analytics modeled scenarios which demonstrate various Clean Energy Pathways the City can take to reach its 100% renewable electricity demand target, spanning across energy efficiency, solar, wind, energy storage, purchasing Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), Electric Vehicle (EV) adoption, and transit sectors. These pathways enable the City to achieve its goal of 100% clean energy, while also generating millions of dollars of public benefits, including utility bill savings and reducing energy burden for residents, the creation of green jobs, and public health benefits for Clevelanders.
Cleveland’s Clean and Equitable Energy Future identifies numerous policy and program actions needed to achieve 100% clean energy as part of a Clean Energy Policy Toolkit. Since the launch of Sustainable Cleveland, we have taken intentional action to advance our transition to 100% clean energy. We have already implemented or begun implementing eleven existing policies and programs, committed to twelve, and are considering an additional nine as recommended by Greenlink Analytics. The actions included in the Clean Energy Policy Toolkit focus on:
- Reducing the overall amount of electricity consumed by enhancing energy efficiency across residential, commercial, and industrial sectors;
- Continued implementation of clean energy installations and investments in storage system technologies;
- Transitioning the transportation sector to more-electrified, less fuel-dependent vehicles and reducing motorized trips;
- Supporting state-level policy which supports clean energy and energy efficiency adoption; and
- Identifying creative and sustainable financing mechanisms which allow increased access to energy efficiency and clean energy programs for low-to-moderate income residents and small businesses.
“Even with the constraints state policy imposes, taking action now can have a positive impact on energy equity, job creation and the health of our residents and neighborhoods. Successfully implementing this plan will require community-wide commitment and accountability. Like everything we have successfully done as a community, we will have to do this together.”
As the City of Cleveland begins to take action towards our 100% clean energy goal, there is also a role for our community to play in achieving this goal. Over the coming months, the Office of Sustainability will continue to engage with stakeholders at all levels to share the findings of the plan and how residents, businesses, and community organizations can help meet our 100% clean energy goal. Stay tuned for updates on upcoming projects and ways to get involved in this exciting work.
If you have any questions about Cleveland’s Clean and Equitable Energy Future, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org