Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Third U.S. City Goes 100% Renewable

Business
Third U.S. City Goes 100% Renewable

Aspen is one of three U.S. cities to run on 100 percent renewable energy as of today, according to city officials. The Colorado mountain town is best known for its posh ski resorts, but this beautiful town also has established itself as a leader in environmental stewardship.

Aspen, Colorado is the third city in the U.S. to achieve 100 percent renewable energy generation.
Oscity / Shutterstock.com

The city had been using about 75 to 80 percent renewable energy until Thursday when it signed a contract with wholesale electric energy provider Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska, in order “to achieve this final leg of our goal,” David Hornbacher, utilities and environmental initiatives director, told The Aspen Times.

The goal was proposed 10 years ago as part of the city's Canary Initiative, which "identifies Aspen and other mountain communities as canaries in the coal mine with respect to their sensitivity to the effects of climate change."

The city's "100 percent" goal is just one component of its larger strategy to reduce both operational and community-wide greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent below 2004 levels by 2020 and 80 percent below 2004 levels by 2050, said Chris Menges and Will Dolan from Aspen's sustainability and utility departments. As of February, the city has reduced its operational emissions by 42 percent, while (as of July) community-wide emissions have been reduced by 7 percent (from 2004 levels).

“It was a very forward-thinking goal and truly remarkable achievement,” Hornbacher said. “This means we are powered by the forces of nature, predominately water and wind with a touch of solar and landfill gas.”

“We’ve demonstrated that it is possible” and that a small, progressive community can work together to be a pathway for others, he said. “Realistically, we hope we can inspire others to achieve these higher goals.” The first two U.S. cities to reach the goal were Burlington, Vermont and Greensburg, Kansas, which decided to make the move after it was devastated by a powerful tornado in 2007.

Aspen plans to celebrate with an "electric-pride party" and also wants to "launch a big national campaign" to show other cities that running a city on 100 percent renewable energy is possible.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Obama Snaps Epic Selfie With Bear Grylls in Alaska

Fox News Host: Obama Is so Obsessed With Climate Change He Should Work for the Weather Channel

Pope Francis: The Rich and Powerful Need to ‘Care’ for the Planet

David Attenborough narrates "The Year Earth Changed," premiering globally April 16 on Apple TV+. Apple

Next week marks the second Earth Day of the coronavirus pandemic. While a year of lockdowns and travel restrictions has limited our ability to explore the natural world and gather with others for its defense, it is still possible to experience the wonder and inspiration from the safety of your home.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By Michael Svoboda

For April's bookshelf we take a cue from Earth Day and step back to look at the bigger picture. It wasn't climate change that motivated people to attend the teach-ins and protests that marked that first observance in 1970; it was pollution, the destruction of wild lands and habitats, and the consequent deaths of species.

Read More Show Less
Trending
An Amazon.com Inc. worker walks past a row of vans outside a distribution facility on Feb. 2, 2021 in Hawthorne, California. PATRICK T. FALLON / AFP via Getty Images

Over the past year, Amazon has significantly expanded its warehouses in Southern California, employing residents in communities that have suffered from high unemployment rates, The Guardian reports. But a new report shows the negative environmental impacts of the boom, highlighting its impact on low-income communities of color across Southern California.

Read More Show Less
Xiulin Ruan, a Purdue University professor of mechanical engineering, holds up his lab's sample of the whitest paint on record. Purdue University / Jared Pike

Scientists at the University of Purdue have developed the whitest and coolest paint on record.

Read More Show Less

Less than three years after California governor Jerry Brown said the state would launch "our own damn satellite" to track pollution in the face of the Trump administration's climate denial, California, NASA, and a constellation of private companies, nonprofits, and foundations are teaming up to do just that.

Read More Show Less