The town of Hanover, New Hampshire voted Tuesday night 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.
“As town manager for the Town of Hanover, I am overjoyed that the town meeting voted unanimously to support a goal of 100 percent renewable energy,” said Hanover Town Manager Julia Griffin. “We look forward to working with Sierra Club and Sustainable Hanover to achieve this goal.”
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, however, Hanover represents the first municipality in the U.S. 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 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’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.
“This is a great day for Hanover. I am so proud to be a resident of Hanover—the first town in New Hampshire to make a commitment to 100% renewable energy and the first municipality in the country to have done it by a vote of its citizenry,” said Judith Colla, a member of the Sierra Club Upper Valley’s Executive Committee. “I look forward to supporting next steps here in Hanover and helping to spread this campaign to our neighbors throughout the Upper Valley.”
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 U.S. to run entirely on clean, renewable energy.