The Town of Hanover, New Hampshire last night voted to establish a goal of transitioning to 100 percent clean and renewable energy by 2050. The article approved at Tuesday’s town meeting sets a community-wide goal of transitioning to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030 and a 2050 goal of transitioning heating and transportation to run on clean, renewable sources of energy.
Tuesday’s vote makes Hanover the 29th city in the country to commit to 100 percent renewable energy and the first in New Hampshire to establish this goal. The vote comes after the Sustainable Hanover Town Committee in December endorsed a transition to 100 percent renewable energy in Hanover for electricity, heat and transportation by 2050. Earlier on Tuesday, the Town of Southampton, New York similarly established a goal to transition to 100 percent renewable energy.
Town meetings like Tuesday’s Hanover town vote have long been a form of direct democracy across New England. Unlike the other 28 cities and towns that have committed to 100 percent clean energy, Hanover represents the first municipality in the United States to have a goal of 100 percent renewable energy voted on and approved by the residents of that community.
Tuesday’s vote builds on Hanover’s growing investment in renewable energy. In 2014, Hanover was named the EPA’s first Green Power Community in New Hampshire. The town is currently at 22 percent renewable electricity through partnerships with Dartmouth College and other businesses and institutions and town residents.
Other cities to commit to 100 percent clean and renewable energy include major metropolises like San Diego and Atlanta, along with small towns including Abita Springs, Louisiana and Moab, Utah. Burlington, Vermont is the first city in the United States to run entirely on clean, renewable energy.