Nevada City photo: Courtesy of Reinette Senum.

One of the latest U.S. cities to commit to all-renewable energy is smaller than most colleges, and it’s hoping its size can actually be a strength.

Senum: “Nevada City is a very small town, more like a hamlet, in the Sierra foothills of northern California. We have a population of 3,100 people, and we are surrounded by pine trees and rivers.”

That’s City Council Member Reinette Senum. She says many people in their small city take sustainability seriously. For example, it was a group of local activists who first asked the City Council to set a renewable energy goal.

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As a result, the Council committed to powering municipal operations entirely with clean energy by 2050. Senum says community involvement is one reason she believes this small city will be successful.

Senum: “Well, first you have to have the political will and that is something that we fortunately really do have today, as well as the opportunity, and the community that supports the idea. So we have this lovely perfect storm happening.”

Senum says with all this momentum, she won’t be surprised if Nevada City meets its goals ahead of schedule.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.

Daisy Simmons

Daisy Simmons is a freelance writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience in research-driven storytelling. In addition to contributing to Yale Climate Connections since early 2016, she also...