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San Francisco Downtown commits to clean power

Mayor announces a plan to transition private commercial buildings of 50,000 square feet or larger to 100 per cent renewable electricity.

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More than half of citywide emissions from buildings come from the commercial sector
More than half of citywide emissions from buildings come from the commercial sector

San Francisco has unveiled plans to transition all private commercial buildings of 50,000 square feet and larger in the Downtown to 100 per cent renewable electricity.

 

Almost half of San Francisco’s citywide emissions come from buildings, and half of those emissions come from the commercial sector. The city government reports it has already reduced greenhouse gas emissions to 36 per cent below 1990 levels.

 

Country-first initiative

 

According to the city government, the new clean electricity requirement will be the first in the nation and will reduce emissions from the city’s largest commercial buildings by an additional 21 per cent to accelerate its drive towards 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2030.

 

“San Francisco has always been a national leader when it comes to sustainability, but we know that the reality of climate change requires us to go further,” said London Breed, mayor.

 

“Transitioning our large buildings to 100 per cent renewable energy is an important step to continuing the progress we have made with CleanPowerSF towards making San Francisco an even more sustainable city.”

“A renewable electricity supply is more than just a checkbox in San Francisco’s climate action strategy, it’s a bridge to even greater emission reductions”

The mayor’s plan calls for the city’s largest commercial buildings to procure 100 per cent renewable electricity from any of the city’s electricity providers by 2022.

 

Then, starting in 2024, additional buildings would be subject to the requirement, eventually encompassing all commercial buildings 50,000 square feet or larger. The requirement will be phased-in chronologically to ensure adequate renewable electricity is available for procurement:

  • 2022 – commercial buildings over 500,000 square feet
  • 2024 – commercial buildings over 250,000 square feet
  • 2030 – commercial buildings over 50,000 square feet

Clean electric grid

 

San Francisco’s emissions primarily come from the transportation (46 per cent) and building sectors (44 per cent). A clean electric grid will accelerate electric vehicle adoption and the city’s transition away from fossil fuel sources of energy.

 

To accelerate San Francisco’s transition to an all-electric city, the mayor also announced that she is directing the Department of the Environment to convene a public-private task force to examine how best to electrify San Francisco’s buildings (existing and new).

 

The task force is expected to produce a decarbonisation roadmap for buildings in early 2020.

 

“A renewable electricity supply is more than just a checkbox in San Francisco’s climate action strategy, it’s a bridge to even greater emission reductions,” added Debbie Raphael, director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment.

 

“An all-electric city for buildings, residences and transportation is how the city leads the way towards an emissions-free future.”

 

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