LA goal: 100% renewables

LA goal: 100% renewables

The City of Los Angeles took a significant step toward realizing its global leadership potential. Mayor Garcetti released LA’s first-ever urban sustainability plan: the pLAn.

LA City Council members Paul Krekorian and Mike Bonin coauthored legislation for a fast route to 100% renewables for LA. With an appreciative nod from the Sierra Club, the news reported at follows:

“LADWP is on the verge of making significant investments in its infrastructure, and with that 100-year-old power system in need of significant upgrades, the city has an opportunity to re-create its utility in a way that recognizes the potential for a fossil-free future, demonstrates global leadership in its commitment to clean energy, and protects ratepayers from the increasing costs of carbon-based fuels.”

Under the current plan, emissions are expected to drop. Under a new plan, they could drop to zero!

US wide

In the United States, 12 cities, including both San Francisco and San Diego, have enacted 100 percent clean energy goals, and four cities are already there.

There are active campaigns now in dozens of cities. From Oakland, California, to Cleveland, Ohio, Boulder, Miami, Boise — these are all efforts that just got started in the last 90 days. It is estimated there would be 50 cities with active campaigns by the end of the year.

Sustainable City pLAn

This change could be much enlarged — with enormous potential to help stop climate change, and boost economies in the process. A report published last fall found ‘cities could save themselves $17 trillion by pursuing clean energy options such as increased efficiency with ‘aggressive’ solar installations, and better public transportation.’ All of those tactics are part of Garcetti’s Sustainable City pLAn, released last year.

LA achieved already

  • They have reduced water use by 19%
    nearly achieving our goal of 20% water reduction a year ahead of time
  • Continuing LA’s leadership as the most water efficient per capita of any big city in the U.S
  • 1,000 publicly available EV charging stations
  • Reduced the greenhouse gas emissions by 20% since 1990

and there is more to come.


  1. 2017 – LA will fund and begin the San Fernando Groundwater Basin clean-up and reduce per capita potable water use by 20%
  2. 2025 – LA will reduce the purchase of imported water by 50%
  3. 2035 – LA will source 50% of water locally

Clean Energy

  1. Local Solar Power
    1. 2025: 900-1,500 MW
    2. 2035: 1,500-1,800 MW
  2. Energy Storage
    1. 2025: Increase cumulative total MW of energy storage capacity to at least 1,654 MW
    2. 2017: Install at least 1 MW of solar on LA Convention Center rooftop

More detailed

  • Expand local PV development programs
    • Continue funding of Solar Incentive Program (SIP) and expand incentives/capacity for net metering
    • Expand capacity of Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) program
    • Expand affordable housing solar program to additional low-income customers Implement community solar & virtual net metering
    • Implement virtual net metering
    • Start community solar program
  • Accelerate permitting and adoption of rooftop PV
    • Create standard plans and online submittal for residential solar PV systems (up to 10 KW)
    • Integrate Department of Building and Safety and Department of Water and Power solar inspection procedures
  • Expand solar-ready new construction requirements to retrofit projects
    • Leverage partnerships with private and public sector property owners to advance solar in LA
    • Facilitate development of California Solar Permitting Guidebook Enhance energy storage
    • Pilot multiple energy storage projects, including Castaic upgrade, thermal energy storage, and battery storage/microgrid projects
  • Enhance energy storage (cont.d)
    • Pilot technology for dispatchable and customer-side storage
    • Streamline permitting and interconnection processes for residential energy-storage projects
  • Develop grid-tied backup solar and modernize Los Angeles’s energy grid
    • Implement Port Energy Management Action Plan (EMAP)
    • Pilot backup power projects at critical facilities
    • Fund electrical-grid upgrades through the Power Reliability Program facilitates high penetration of renewables
    • Create bidirectional smart grid to prepare for large-scale adoption of electric vehicles (EVs)
    • Use smart-grid technologies to monitor and track energy-efficiency progress
    • Implement demand management solutions
  • Lead by example with solar installations on new and existing City projects
    • Install solar on LA Convention Center roof
    • Create PV installation requirement for City projects
    • Create financing tool for PV installation on existing City buildings
    • Assist Port of LA in adding solar PV installations (at least 10 MW)

Energy-Efficient Buildings

  • 2017 – LA will expand the Better Buildings Challenge (BBC) to over 60 million square feet, and avoid 1250 GWh of energy use due to efficiency programs
  • 2035 – LA will reduce energy use per square foot — for all building types — by 30%

Greenhouse Gas Emissions below 1990 baseline

  • 2025 – 45%
    • 2025 – LA will improve the GHG efficiency of Los Angeles’s economy from 2010 levels by 55%
    • 2025 – LA will be completely divested from coal-fired power plants
    • Reduce municipal greenhouse gas emissions 35% by 2025
    • Reduce municipal greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2035 from 2008 baseline
  • 2035 – 60%
  • 2050 – 80%

Zero waste: recycle and reuse

Increase landfill diversion rate. By 2035 the city will productively reuse a majority of our waste within LA County, with an emphasis on organic waste and key recyclables.

  • 2025 – 90%
  • 2035 – 95%


LA will invest in rail, bus lines, pedestrian/bike safety, and complete neighborhoods that provide more mobility options and reduce vehicle miles traveled.

  • 2017 – Establish bike share with at least 65 stations and 1,000 bikes
  • 2025 – LA will reduce vehicle miles traveled per capita by 5%
  • 2025 – 25% of all light-duty passenger vehicles on the road will be electric or zero emission
  • 2025 – 80% of the City’s light-duty vehicle purchases are zero emission

Green Investment

Increase green investment in LA by at least:

  • 2025 – $750 million
  • 2035 – $2 billion

which will create green jobs:

  • 2025 – 72,500
  • 2035 – 150,000

LA is showing the way

Interdependent, ecological and human health will follow by revolutionizing the way we get out energy — transitioning to renewable, clean sources. LA seems aware of that and interested in being a true leader showing others the way.


Have you seen this?

Overview Smart Grid Companies and StartUps (dossier)

Smart Grid Energy Storage Systems (dossier)

Pros & Cons of (renewable) energy sources (dossier)

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