San Diego goes all-in on renewable energy

Solar power in San Diego, CA

San Diego focused on energy efficiency, climate resiliency, renewable energy

California continues its strengthen its position as a U.S. leader in renewable energy, as San Diego recently made a huge commitment to renewable sources over the next 20 years.

Earlier this month, San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer announced his Fiscal Year 2017 budget proposal for transportation, water, infrastructure, renewable energy and more. The proposal largely works to support the goals of San Diego’s landmark Climate Action Plan (CAP).

Faulconer’s proposed Fiscal Year 2017 budget includes more than $127 million in new funding that would work toward hitting goals in five key areas of the CAP: building efficiency, renewable energy, transit, waste management and climate resiliency.

Examples of transit improvements include new and/or improved bicycle lanes and new and/or improved sidewalks, along with streetlight enhancements for better efficiency. Renewable energy endeavors would include installation of solar panels on city facilities, and landfill improvements to better separate organic materials for renewable energy production.

“We’re building the foundation for a better and cleaner future in San Diego. My budget proposal prioritizes neighborhood improvements and will more than double infrastructure funding. These investments, along with other sustainability initiatives, will help us as we work to reach the goals in the climate action plan.” — San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer

New Climate Action Plan moves to 100% renewable energy By 2035

San Diego’s CAP was unanimously adopted by City Council in late 2015 and has ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 15 percent by 2020 and reduce GHG emissions 50 percent by 2035, as compared to 2010 emissions as a baseline.

The latest budget proposal works toward these goals in multiple ways:

— Work to reduce energy and water use by enhancing building efficiencies via equipment upgrades, operational changes, and data collection.

— A concerted effort to move away from fossil fuels and increasingly rely on renewable energy sources like solar, wind and hydropower to power the city.

— Improve overall climate resiliency by better preparing for risks such as increased heat waves,
droughts, wildfires, more intense storms, and rising sea levels.

The ultimate goal of the Climate Action Plan is to achieve 100 percent renewable energy across the entirety of San Diego by 2035.