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Published on July 25th, 2015 | by Zachary Shahan


Vancouver’s 100% Renewable Energy Goal (Renewable Cities Video)

July 25th, 2015 by  

As we reported back in April, Vancouver’s City Council has voted to transition 100% to renewable energy (not just electricity, but all energy). Deputy City Manager Sadhu Johnston discussed this plan and plenty of positive clean energy Vancouver initiatives in this final Renewable Cities PechaKucha presentation:

Some of the highlights from Sadhu’s presentation include the fact that the city has seen a 6% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions while seeing a 30% increase in its population and a 20% increase in its number of jobs. The city also has 98% greenhouse gas–free electricity, and 31% renewable electricity.

Some of the key ways Sadhu noted they could hit 100% renewable energy were by:

  • building the city so that people could walk places
  • adding bike infrastructure (Vancouver had a 400% increase in the morning bike commute on the route pictured below when they added that protected bike lane)
  • electrifying public transit, and incentivizing a switch to electric cars and trucks
  • greening building codes
  • using district energy systems and better using sewage and waste heat for energy

Sadhu keenly noted that change is not linear. He used the same chart highlighting the rapid price drop for solar panels that I used to kick off my opening night presentation, as well as another good one right after that.

Renewable Cities biking Vancouver

Sadhu also noted that the only way we’re going to achieve our 100% clean, renewable energy dreams is by “planting the seeds now for the future that we want.” Here’s a picture I recently took in Amsterdam that I think wonderfully re-emphasizes that point:

seeds for the future

“don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.” Image by Zachary Shahan (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Overall, Sadhu’s presentation was superb, so I really encourage you to watch it. I can’t do it justice.

To watch the other opening night PechaKucha presentations (they are all great) or read my summaries of them, check out:

1. The Future Is Now! (My Renewable Cities Opening Night Prez)

2. Story Of Solar & Social Inspiration From Brazil (Video)

3. 100% Renewable Energy — How To Get There (Video)

4. Clean Energy Art (Video)

5. The Renewable Energy Revolution & Clean Energy Canada (Video)

6. Renewable Cities PechaKuch Opening Event (Videos)

Also be sure to check out the outcomes of the forum here, and here’s a short summary video of it all:

Or, if you have some popcorn, here’s the full PechaKucha event:

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.

  • Coboll

    Not a mathematician, but plugging some number in, it looks like if they had maintained their current claims, and their previous population, they would have reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by 27.69%.

  • vensonata

    There are two dates: 2020 and 2050. There are ten plans incremental to the final goal by 2050. 35 years should be plenty of time, I would hope for 80% by 2030 and I wouldn’t be surprised if it arrived by that time. Vancouver has so many natural resources and a willing population.

  • Ivor O’Connor

    When do they plan on being 100% renewable?

    • Martin

      It does not say in the article, it maybe in the video, have not watched it yet.
      But it is going to be the greenest city in Canada and it is setting a good example.
      Now if the province and the federal governments would just follow.

      • Matt

        First let me say I have visited and love Vancouver and a 100% goal is great. But not lets look at the dark side, they are a major exporter of coal, oil, and trying for tar sands. All three have massive expansion plans. So I don’t think they get “greenest city” badge.

    • There’s no date set. 😀

      • Ivor O’Connor

        lol, politicians setting goals with no dates attached… how unusual.

        • I know they are working on a plan. I’ll be sure to check with them and get more details out when we can. 😀

  • vensonata

    Vancouver can use its hydro energy which as baseload while they fill in the 70% needed by PV and wind. The wind will have to come from at least 100 miles away off shore on the West coast of Vancouver Island which has massive wind resources. So the mix will be 30%hydro 30% pv 40% wind.

  • Shiggity

    Over 50% renewable energy will be considered easy in 2025.

    100% will take some skill. That last 5-10% will be tough.

    It’s already viable for the US to drop most of it’s coal by 2025. Right now, this very second.

    • Its Obvious

      Long ways to go to get there. Its possible but things have to change, especially the grid. I think thats the laggard.

      • Michael G

        The grid is a technical problem. There are really no technical problems – only people problems. If you have a technical problem you hire some technical people and spend some money to solve your problem. If you have a people (attitude) problem – you’ve got a problem.

        • janet.tovar


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