Renewable energy is undoubtedly the wave of the future. Every day, efforts are made all over the country to increase the amount of sustainable energy sources and reduce the amount of energy used from unsustainable sources. While the overall intent is to help the environment, many cities committed to clean energy have found that in addition to helping the environment, there are significant financial incentives to be considered.
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The Seirra Club, the nation’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, recently profiled 10 cities across the country that have committed to run entirely on renewable energy sources in the near future, if they have not already met that goal. The methods planned by each city vary, but the overall consensus is that employing sustainable energy sources is not only affordable, but finically sensible for the future of each city. Jim Briggs, Interim City Manager for Georgetown, Texas, which plans to buy 100% renewable power by 2017 says “We didn’t do this to save the world—we did this to get a competitive rate and reduce the risk for our consumers.” This point is an important one, given that much of the argument against switching to renewable energy sources is the supposed expense associated with making the switch.
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Some of the methods used by various cities includes using power from wind, hydropower, solar, biomass and power from landfill methane. Georgetown, Texas is buying renewable energy in order to lower prices and guarantee a long-term, fixed rate. Many cities are seeking out new locations to install solar panels and fitting out city buildings with energy-efficient windows and geothermal heating. Getting community support and buy-in is also important for implantation. The more the community comes together around an issue like this, the easier it is to get necessary permits and approvals.
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The 10 cities committed to a 100% clean energy future are:
East Hampton, NY
Grand Rapids, Michigan
San Jose, CA
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA
For more information, click here.