Public-Private Partnerships for 100% Clean Energy: Prospects for City and Business Collaboration

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In recent years, the United States has seen an unprecedented surge in subnational climate action. A growing number of cities and businesses, in particular, have stepped up to the plate to address the threat of climate change, including many that have pledged to transition away from fossil fuel-based electricity and towards 100 percent clean energy. Yet the barriers to hitting those ambitious targets are significant and, in some cases, seemingly insurmountable. This research assesses the extent to which partnerships between cities and businesses can help them overcome those barriers and, in turn, fortify subnational climate action. The author presents an overview of the various clean energy procurement options available to cities and businesses (as well as the constraints that limit their availability), examines the benefits of partnerships, and finally highlights three emerging approaches to collaboration. This analysis finds that while collaboration has the potential to help cities and businesses work towards their clean energy goals, executing them may be easier said than done. That reality is driven by regulatory, financial, and logistical considerations that may ultimately limit the viability of formal partnerships. Even so, this research finds that there is widespread appetite for new and novel ideas as cities and businesses implement their clean energy commitments. Thus, while the examples and recommendations identified here may not necessarily be generalizable, they nevertheless demonstrate the potential value of creative partnerships.





Fischer, Adam (2019). Public-Private Partnerships for 100% Clean Energy: Prospects for City and Business Collaboration. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from

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