The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched its national “Green Power Community Challenge,” a year-long campaign to encourage cities, towns, villages, and Native American tribes to use renewable energy to help prevent greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to accelerate the development of renewable energy capacity across the Unites States.
The EPA is challenging the Green Power Communities to purchase more than 1.8 billion kilowatt-hours of green power annually, doubling the total amount of green power used by these communities today. Communities will compete to see which one can use the most green power and achieve the highest green power percentage of total electricity use. The winners will be announced in September 2011.
To participate in the challenge, a local government must join EPA’s Green Power Partnership and meet the program’s green power purchase requirements. They also have to conduct a campaign to encourage local businesses and residents to collectively buy or produce green power on-site in amounts that meet EPA requirements.
More than 30 cities and towns in Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin have become green power communities, and are collectively buying more than 900 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, says EPA. Green power is generated from renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, biogas, and low-impact hydropower.
EPA will provide quarterly updates at its Website.