150 Cities (and Counting) are Ready for 100% Renewable

2018 was hailed as “The Year of 100% Clean Energy” -- but in 2019 we demonstrated that massive, organized support for 100% is here to stay.

In 2018, the national Ready For 100 movement alongside local partners reached a milestone of 100 cities formally committed to 100% renewable electricity community-wide. Now as we enter another decade, this movement is over 150 cities strong -- and it continues to deepen the victories that bring us closer to a clean, equitable energy economy for all. 150 cities committed to 100% clean energy

By the numbers, the vision of 100% clean energy across the United States grew exponentially in one year’s time: in 2019 alone, 51 cities and towns, four states, plus Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. committed to 100% clean, renewable energy. Today, over 94 million Americans (roughly 30% of the population) live in a Ready For 100 community -- nearly doubling last year’s high water mark with 45 million additional residents represented through community-wide renewable energy policies.

In 2016, the Ready For 100 campaign started with the idea that the US could be powered by 100% clean and renewable energy from sources like wind and solar. Scientists had already agreed for decades that our planet faced a climate catastrophe, but political leaders remained in gridlock, unable to address the issue. Their thinking was small, favoring incremental progress rather than bold visions -- few dared imagine what reaching a “100% clean” target could look like. 

Lakewood, OH Ready for 100

In 2019, Lakewood became the third Ohio city committed to 100% clean, renewable on energy. Photo courtesy of Chad Stephens

At a local level, people said again and again that they wanted this change for their communities -- across political and geographic divides. After the 2016 election, decision-makers heard the call for bold action. Public will soared in the face of national setbacks, and now over 150 US cities have adopted community-wide commitments to 100% renewable electricity. This feat, achieved in less than one presidential term of office, is nothing short of astonishing -- and it has only been possible through the incredible organizing of local leaders and a broad coalition that centers equity and justice.

But a “commitment” to a vision is not enough to make our clean energy future materialize. Nobody knows this better than the activists I work with daily who fight for every bit of change in their communities, environmental justice communities who continue to suffer most from the fossil fuel economy, or scientists who continue to watch greenhouse gas emissions rise. The movement we’ve supported will be our tool to transition our shared energy system with the urgency required while ensuring we’re moving toward energy justice and democracy. Together, we’ll hold our committed decision-makers accountable to their goals.

Chicago committed to 100% clean energy

Kyra Woods of the Ready For 100 Chicago Collective in Chicago, Illinois in April 2019. Photo courtesy of Michael Courier

This year I’ve been inspired by activists in Chicago, where I live, who spent years building trust across this city and its constituencies to push for a clean energy transition on their own terms. A coalition representing labor, economic and racial justice, education, healthcare, and environmental organizations emerged to work toward a shared vision. Together, the Ready For 100 Chicago Collective will prioritize the needs of low-income communities and communities of color within our segregated city who have too often been shut out of the benefits of environmental progress as the city works towards the 100% renewable energy goal it established in April.


Other communities have also seen incredible work toward 100% clean energy in the last 12 months. The Mountain West led, as Boise and Missoula became the first cities in Idaho and Montana to adopt 100% renewable goals, and Utah communities laid the path to reach their own targets. A new law passed by the Utah state legislature -- through a Republican supermajority -- allows communities with 100% renewable goals to create a pathway to reach their targets with Rocky Mountain Power. So far, 20 communities have opted in, representing over one quarter of the state’s population. 

Further east, nearly two dozen towns in the Philadelphia suburbs have spurred a movement calling for renewable power in the region -- and they’ll work together to push the region toward cleaner, healthier, more affordable electricity. Florida hit a major milestone, as well: 10 cities around the Sunshine State share a vision for 100% renewable energy for all.

South Miami 100% clean energy

South Miami, Florida is committed to 100% clean, renewable energy.

Cities and towns have also pushed states to take up 100% clean energy goals, to huge success from Washington to New York. This is a true movement. 

At the end of the decade that has ushered in the clean energy future with gusto, it’s important to take stock of where we are and where we’re going. The majority of Americans across the political spectrum have come to support renewable energy, and that’s a lot of grassroots power to tap into for the road ahead. United across more than 190 active Ready For 100 teams, we will define this coming decade as one of change, where we stop just envisioning our future and start dictating the progress we want to see. We will create a thriving clean energy economy with fossil-fuels’ frontline communities at its center and we will create a 100% clean, renewable energy for all. 

Are you Ready For 100?