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Concord Featured in Clean Energy Report

More than 80 U.S. cities have committed to move toward 100 percent renewable energy. (skeeze/Pixabay)
More than 80 U.S. cities have committed to move toward 100 percent renewable energy. (skeeze/Pixabay)
September 19, 2018

CONCORD, N.H. – New Hampshire's capital city is front and center in a new report on cities moving to 100 percent renewable energy.

Concord is one of 10 cities profiled in the Sierra Club's 2018 "Ready for 100" report. In July, the Concord City Council voted unanimously to work toward eliminating fossil fuels for meeting the city's energy needs.

According to Allyson Samuell, an organizer for the Ready for 100 campaign, the resolution outlines ambitious goals that apply not only to municipal energy but to businesses and consumers as well.

"One hundred percent renewable electricity for the entire community by 2030," she said, "and then, 100 percent renewable energy for heating and transportation for the entire community by 2050."

More than 80 U.S. cities are committed to 100 percent renewable energy, and six already have achieved that goal.

Samuell said Concord will work with major stakeholders and hold public meetings to develop a strategic plan for reaching its goal. The first step, she said, is assessing where things stand right now, which means posing a few questions:

"How much energy do we need? What are we currently using right now? How much should we be investing in energy efficiency so that we're actually reducing the consumption of energy?"

There already are plans to develop a solar facility on Concord's closed landfill and to use a share of the Volkswagen settlement money for electric-vehicle recharging infrastructure.

In 2017, Hanover became the first New Hampshire town to commit to eliminating fossil fuels, followed by Plainfield, Cornish and now Concord. Samuell said she hopes it's a trend that continues.

"We're hoping that these four communities are setting up a model for more New Hampshire communities to follow," she said, "making this bold commitment to 100 percent renewable energy and then, working to develop plans moving forward."

California recently passed a law putting that entire state on a path to 100 percent renewable energy by 2045.

The report is online at sierraclub.org.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - NH