A popular ski resort town, Aspen is known to be a very forward-thinking mountain town that prides itself on being a leader in "environmental stewardship" when, more than 10 years ago, it set a goal to become 100 percent renewable as part of the city’s Canary Initiative.
The Canary Initiative was a programs that "identifies Aspen and other mountain communities as canaries in the coal mine with respect to their sensitivity to the effects of climate change.”
“We’ve demonstrated that it is possible” and that a small, progressive community can work together to be a pathway for others, David Hornbacher, utilities and environmental initiatives director, said in an interview with The Aspen Times. “Realistically, we hope we can inspire others to achieve these higher goals.”
The town signed with the wholesale electric energy provider, Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska, to help achieve their renewable energy goal with a strategy to takes things a bit further—"reduce both operational and community-wide greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent below 2004 levels by 2020 and 80 percent below 2004 levels by 2050," Chris Menges and Will Dolan from Aspen’s sustainability and utility departments said, according to Common Dreams.
Aspen now joins Burlington, Vermont and Greensburg, Kansas as the third U.S. city to operate off of 100 percent renewable energy. Which state will be next?