How did Burlington achieve 100 percent renewable energy?


Burlington, Vermont, the state’s largest city, recently became the first in the country to use 100 percent renewable energy for its residents’ electricity needs. In a state known for socially conscious policies, the feat represents a milestone in the growing green energy movement. NewsHour’s William Brangham reports on the implications for the country’s green movement.

14 Comments

  1. Uhmu
    Jan 31, 2015

    In 10 years when batteries will get a lot cheaper, wind and especially
    solar will take off like crazy, not because of climate change, but because
    it will be cheaper then traditional utility electricity. Change is coming,
    faster then we can imagine. 

  2. B Comoros
    Jan 31, 2015

    definitely something to watch for sure. We are heading in that direction
    anyways. Once price comes down it’s going to be a huge market for
    everything and on everything.. Huge, huge 

  3. Jude Grant
    Jan 31, 2015
  4. Mitch Hunter
    Jan 31, 2015

    By having a monopoly utility system, a liberal legislature, fudging the
    numbers, and robbing it’s citizens blind.

  5. sherri99516
    Jan 31, 2015

    Good post but biased: How did Burlington, Vermont, the state’s largest
    city, recently became 1st in the country to use 100% renewable energy for
    its residents’ electricity needs. In a state known for socially conscious
    policies, the feat represents a milestone in the growing green energy
    movement.

    A Personal Note for NewsHour’s Willam Branhman’s scripted news report about
    Burlington, Vermont’s green movement: “You don’t have to be a Socialist or
    a Left Wing Progressive for any group of citizens to achieve 100% renewable
    energy for it’s residents.” And, it’s misleading to class Burlington,
    Vermont or the state itself as one or the other or be of a certain
    politically mindset to be able to “Go so called Green”. As well as
    including the biased personal opinion of their so called Environmental
    lawyer (see 5 : 30) that the residents of Burlington, Vermont overall
    efforts aren’t good enough to qualify them as using 100% green renewable
    energy during their energy source transition from using dirty oil & nuclear
    supplies to using a variety of locally diverse sources to attain their 100%
    renewable energy for their city.

    And……..Hello! VERMONT RESIDENT & now famous Fukushima & world nuclear
    expert Arnie Gunderson & grassroots efforts got their states aging &
    leaking Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant shut down after years of hard work and
    a lot of grass roots activisim. See Fukushima nuclear expert & U.S. Senate
    hearings. http://www.fairewinds.org/#sthash.kNuYYAVI.dpbs

    See:
    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/01/new-vermont-is-liberal-but-old-vermont-is-still-there/?_r=0

    First, although Vermont is liberal, particularly on social issues, it also
    has substantial strains of libertarianism and fiscal conservatism.

    Second, there’s no party registration in Vermont, and the state holds open
    primaries. Accordingly, party identification is a weaker bond in Vermont
    than in many other states.

    Finally, Vermont is small, in area and population. Retail politicking can
    swing a lot of voters. “Socially moderate, personable Republican governors
    can still do well,” 

  6. ballparkfrankplus1
    Feb 1, 2015

    Finally! Use this as a model, among others. No more Fuckishimi’s…

  7. Jeff Hoffman
    Feb 1, 2015
  8. Kevin Jones
    Feb 1, 2015

    What this PBS story does not make clear (even though CLF attempts to set
    the record straight) and as I clearly told a PBS producer when she called
    me to discuss this story, Burlington Electric customers are not really
    buying the power from the McNeill Woodchip plant or those wind turbines
    that are deceptively shown in the video. While BED is the lead owner in
    McNeil and has contracts with a couple of Vermont wind projects they sell
    those more expensive premium renewables out of state into the MA and CT
    renewable markets and then replace those new renewables with very low cost
    renewable energy credits from older projects that do not qualify in the
    programs of the other New England states. This is how the math works: BED
    sells McNeil and Sheffield Wind credits for $.05/kwh to the honest
    customers of Connecticut and Massachusetts who have real, leading renewable
    programs and replaces those Kwh with RECs that cost a fraction of a penny
    per kWh. BED, including Ken Nolan, has historically opposed Vermont moving
    toward an honest renewable energy program and recently said if we had a
    real renewable portfolio standard (similar to MA and CT) that their rates
    would increase by 20%. Instead they are supporting legislation that will
    allow them to continue to sell the expensive new renewables out of state
    and meet state requirements with low cost RECs that do not qualify as
    renewable in other New England states. While striving to be a renewable
    energy leader would be laudable, the shell game that BED participates in is
    not one that works if we all play the deceptive game. There are some
    cities that are really striving to be renewable energy leaders. It is too
    bad that PBS focused on this one when multiple credible sources told them
    that this story is very different than what BED’s press releases imply.

  9. Joel Mort
    Feb 1, 2015
  10. David Sullivan
    Feb 1, 2015

    an inspiring example

  11. Robert Myorski
    Feb 1, 2015

    This is a good story. 

  12. Robert Ross
    Feb 1, 2015

    It’s a series of decisions made over 10 years and I say Great Job!

  13. Rusty Hill
    Feb 1, 2015
  14. MrApplewine
    Feb 2, 2015

    This video is like one long crazy religious rant. Those who can make you
    believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. Voltaire.

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