EPA announces Green Power Challenge
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has begun a year-long campaign to encourage cities and towns to use renewable energy and fight climate change. EPA’s national “Green Power Community Challenge” is an extension of the agency’s Green Power Partnership, which already includes more than 30 communities in 11 states.
The campaign aims to double the total aggregate amount of green power used by EPA Green Power Communities, which currently are located in Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin. As part of the national campaign, communities will compete to see which one can use the most green power and which one can achieve the highest green power percentage of total electricity use. There will be a separate award for each category with national recognition and special attention from EPA. The winners will be announced in September 2011.
To participate in the challenge, a local government must join the Green Power Partnership and use green power in amounts that meet the program’s purchase requirements. The participants also must encourage local businesses and residents to collectively buy or produce green power on-site in amounts that meet EPA requirements. During the challenge, from Sept. 20, 2010, to Sept. 1, 2011, communities will be ranked for the two award categories on EPA’s website on a quarterly schedule. EPA also will provide technical assistance to help participants increase their green power use.
The current Green Power Communities are collectively buying more than 900 million kilowatt-hours of green power annually, equivalent to the carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity use of nearly 80,000 average American homes. Green power is generated from renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, biogas and low-impact hydropower. Green power resources produce electricity with an environmental profile superior to conventional power technologies, and produce no net increase of greenhouse gas emissions.
Read more information on EPA’s Green Power Community Challenge.