Technology

Published on June 19th, 2009 | by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

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5 US Towns Seeking Energy Independence with Renewable Resources

wind farmYou may have gotten your fill of the phrase “energy independence” with last year’s election: both parties and presidential candidates touted the idea repeatedly. It’s a compelling concept…  it’s also contentious. For some, energy independence means harvesting solar, wind, and geothermal power; for others, it’s the motivation behind “Drill, baby, drill!” Either way, it’s a challenging goal at the national level.

At the local level, though, energy independence may be realistic… and numerous communities around the United States are exploring available renewable resources, and the technology necessary to harness them. Here’s just a handful of towns creating models for clean energy production… and good old fashioned self-reliance.

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  • San Jose, California: You’d probably expect Silicon Valley to lead the way on cutting-edge energy technology, and San Jose‘s trying not to disappoint. Yesterday, the city council gave the city manager the authority to negotiate the terms of “an organics-to energy bio-gas facility.”
  • Greensburg, Kansas: While this little town that’s attempting to rebuild itself as a “model green town” after a disastrous tornado doesn’t use the phrase “energy independence” much, the Kiowa County Community Wind Farm, slated to open in November ‘09, “will provide enough power to meet all the energy needs for the town in the foreseeable future.”

Read more about towns aiming for energy independence at the Sundance Channel’s SUNfiltered blog.

Image credit: vaxomatic at Flickr under a Creative Commons license



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About the Author

Jeff McIntire-Strasburg is the founder and editor of sustainablog. You can keep up with all of his writing at Facebook, and at



  • http://emergealliance.org/en/index.asp EMerge Alliance

    It’s going to take a lot of “local” efforts like this to recognize the need for national action. Our hat’s off to these communities that are taking these steps. Like these communities, we’ve brought together organizations and companies that influence the design, construction and management of commercial facilities to create an industry alliance that will develop a standard that facilitates the direct connection and use of native DC power from solar, wind, or other alternative energy sources and improved efficiency through integrated load and source management. Working with DC power already present within common infrastructures of commercial interiors enables the building to be more flexible, sustainable and energy efficient. This technology will help these town’s goals of self reliance and improved clean energy production by greening it’s larger buildings that have traditionally consumed mass amounts of energy and contribute significant amounts of greenhouse gas emissions.

  • http://www.paystolivegreen.com pays to live green

    I agree with Emerge Alliance. It’s going to take action at the local level before the federal or state governments see that more investment in renewable energy is needed. I am all about getting things local and that includes energy. The energy you are using right in your back yard, so you know exactly where the renewable energy is coming from. This is contrary to RECs where you have no idea if the energy you are buying is actually from renewable sources.

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