Towns and cities worldwide emit significant pollution and are also increasingly affected by pollution’s health and climate impacts. Local decision makers can alleviate these impacts by transitioning the energy they control to 100% clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency. This study develops roadmaps to transition 53 towns and cities in the United States, Canada, and Mexico to 100% wind, water, and sunlight (WWS) in all energy sectors by no later than 2050, with at least 80% by 2030. The roadmaps call for electrifying transportation and industrial heat; using electricity, solar heat, or geothermal heat for water and air heating in buildings; storing electricity, cold, heat, and hydrogen; and providing all electricity and heat with WWS. This full transition in the 53 towns and cities examined may reduce 2050 air pollution premature mortality by up to 7000 (1700-16,000)/yr, reduce global climate costs in 2050 by $393 (221–836) billion/yr (2015 USD), save each person ∼$133/yr in energy costs, and create ∼93,000 more permanent, full-time jobs than lost.
Sustainable Cities and Society, Volume 42, October 2018, Pages 22-37,