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Burlington is first U.S. city with 100 percent renewable power

Burlington, Vermont relies on a combination of hydropower, biomass and wind to produce its electricity(Jay Parker/flickr/cc)

Burlington, Vermont is proving that it’s possible for a small city to wean itself of fossil fuel. The PBS NewsHour reports that the city of 40,000 people is the first in the U. S. to be completely powered by renewable energy.

The city generates about half of its energy from hydroelectricity. Another 30 percent is derived from a biomass facility that burns scrap wood and produces energy by “converting the heat into steam,” the Newshour says. Wind turbines contribute the remaining 20 percent of electricity.

Burlington’s transition to environmentally friendly power could serve as a model for other urban centers. Beyond reducing emissions that contribute to climate change, the switch is expected to reduce the city’s energy needs by $20 million, according to PBS.

PBS Newshour

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