San José Mayor Sam Liccardo and San José Clean Energy on Thursday announced a major accomplishment in San José’s efforts to combat the effects of climate change.
San Jose Clean Energy, the community choice energy provider for 350,000 homes and businesses in San José, has achieved a 95% carbon-free electricity mix of solar, wind and hydroelectric power, and is the cleanest electricity mix out of the 10 largest cities in the U.S.
Renewable sources like solar and wind comprise 60% of Clean Energy’s power mix, up from 45% in 2019.
“San José continues to lead the nation through innovative solutions in our fight against climate change,” said Liccardo in a statement.. “SJCE’s clean power mix is just one of the bold actions we are taking to create a sustainable future for generations to come.”
Increasing the amount of renewable and carbon-free energy powering San José is a key component of Climate Smart San José, the city’s climate action plan. In November 2021, the city council pledged to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030
“San José Clean Energy is proud to play this foundational role on San José’s path to a carbon-neutral, clean energy future,”said Lori Mitchell, Director of the Community Energy Department, which operates the utility. “Our clean electricity is electrifying transportation, homes, and businesses and will improve the health of our community and planet.”
To date, Clean Energy has invested more than $1 billion to add new solar, wind, and battery storage to the grid at cost-effective prices for customers. In February 2022, Liccardo announced the completion of a new 62 megawatt (MW) solar generation and energy storage facility in Kern County that is delivering clean, pollution-free electricity daily from 6am. to 10pm for San José homes and businesses for the next 12 years. This builds on a 225 MW wind farm in New Mexico produced from 117 wind turbines that deliver enough clean electricity to power 186,000 San José homes.
As of Spring 2022, private automobiles and transportation-related carbon emissions account for more than 50% of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. In light of this, San José remains the city with the single highest number of electric vehicle chargers, at a rate three times the national average.
Across San José, 97%, or 1,647 chargers, are public and 52, or 3%, are private-facing chargers. With 4% of all registered vehicles in the city being fully-electric or plug-in hybrids as of 2020, San José is the city with the third-highest adoption of electric vehicles in the nation with nearly 75,000 electric vehicles on the road nationwide.
The progress on closing the disproportionate impact of the transportation sector on San José’s emissions aligns with the city’s carbon-neutral goal, city officials said. San José is the largest city in the U.S. to have set a goal of carbon neutrality by 2030 and is making strides toward reducing its citywide greenhouse gas emissions.