Cleveland Joins The List Of Major U.S. Cities Committing To 100% Sustainable Energy By 2050

Cleveland is an important landmark in America’s industrial history. A river town, Cleveland has been host to many factories that manufactured a variety of products. Those factories, while providing valuable materials, also pumped tons of pollution into the skies above the city, not to mention Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie. Needless to say, Cleveland isn’t the cleanest city on the map.

John D. Rockefeller started Standard Oil, which would later become Exxon, in Cleveland in 1870. Oil has played a vital part in the city’s history, but not always for the right reasons. In 1952, the Cuyahoga River caught fire after floating oil on the river’s surface ignited. Several boats and a few buildings were destroyed in the flames. The same thing happened again in 1969.

Cleveland was long known as one of the most polluted cities in the U.S. but that all might be changing soon. The city announced that it will join 80 other cities throughout the country in committing to a future that is 100% dependent on clean energy. Cleveland plans to be free of coal-powered electricity by 2050. Historically, Cleveland has been a major user of coal in the Midwest so their commitment to bail on the fossil fuel is a major step for conservation.

Take away the pollution and Cleveland is a gorgeous city on a beautiful lake. Frank Jackson, the mayor of Cleveland, feels the same way. He fully supports the clean energy plan, stating that by cleaning up the city and focusing on establishing a solid economy Cleveland will be an amazing place to live for future residents.

The industrial enterprise that has called Cleveland home for over a hundred year isn’t going anywhere, but the clean energy plans will benefit them, too. Energy-related jobs will become available, and the existing factories will benefit from lower maintenance costs, lower energy costs, and healthier working conditions for their employees once they make the switch to clean power.

The bulk of the clean power will need to come from solar and wind sources. The good news is that there are enough rooftops in the city to account for about 40% of the city’s power needs if solar panels were installed today. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but laying the foundations of the plan is a great step toward a clean future for Cleveland.