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Sioux Falls is the largest city in South Dakota with a population of over 171,000 residents. Sioux Falls is one of only two cities in South Dakota to have an Office of Sustainability. South Dakota is a national leader in the amount of renewable energy produced with large amounts of hydropower and wind energy produced, and the climactic conditions on South Dakota are conducive for additional wind and solar energy production. Therefore, Sioux Falls is well position to take a leadership role in mitigating climate change in South Dakota.
One way for Sioux Falls to mitigate climate change – and model climate action for the state and region – is to transition the energy use in the city to 100% renewable energy. There are currently more than 175 cities in the United States that have completed, are in the process, or have pledged to transition to 100% renewable energy. Although Sioux Falls is not one of these cities, we believe that there is potential for Sioux Falls to transition to 100% renewable energy.
The primary uses of energy in a city include electricity, heating, and transportation. Based on reviews of the existing cities who are or have transitioned to 100% renewable energy, we determined that many cities first focus on a transition to 100% renewable electricity. The purpose of this report is to explore the opportunities and constraints – and to provide recommendations – for engaged stakeholders to develop a campaign for Sioux Falls to transition to 100% renewable electricity by 2035.
Anderson, Bennett; Blote, Brigit; Doll, Erin; Pape, Bryce; Reimers, Caitlin; Sokolowski, Austin; Turgeon, Jordan; Wallace, Austin; Heisler, Michael; Smith, Jeffrey; and Jarchow, Meghann Elizabeth, "Sioux Falls Renewable Project Final Report" (2021). Sustainability & Environment Projects. 7.