What is renewable energy?

San Francisco has been running on clean energy for over 100 years! The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) provides the City with 100% hydropower energy from the Hetch Hetchy Power System. The SFPUC also operates the City’s community choice energy program, CleanPowerSF, made up of many of the energy sources seen below.



The same cool breeze you feel on a windy day is converted into electricity by spinning powerful turbines situated across California.



The rays of the sun are collected by solar panels and harnessed into electricity. 



Flowing water is converted into electricity by moving turbines and generators in facilities throughout California.



Straight out of the depths of Earth, molten rock or reservoirs of steam and hot water are tapped and harnessed as a potent renewable electricity source.



Organic matter, like plants, poop or food waste, is broken down and used as fuel to produce electricity. 

Did you know?

Renewable energy makes a BIG impact in San Francisco…

  • Approximately 66% of Alcatraz Island is powered by solar energy through panels that are installed on the roof of the main cell house.

  • San Francisco City Hall, MUNI buses and many other city buildings and operations are powered by hydroelectric energy from Hetch Hetchy reservoir in Yosemite.

…and around the world!

  • 6.5 million people worldwide have jobs in renewable energy.

  • There are four sets of solar farms that are large enough to see from space.

  • The country of Costa Rica is powered by 98% renewable energy sources.


Crossword puzzle answers

Find the crossword puzzle in our “What is Renewable Energy?” brochure.


  1. Environment

  2. Energy

  3. Water

  4. You

  5. Solar


  1. Electricity

  2. Earth

  3. Wind

  4. Geysers

  5. Renewable