In 2020, Louisville, Kentucky became the first city in the US to fully adopt a renewable energy strategy. It is a bold move that sets the city apart from other major urban centers across the country.
The strategy aims to reduce the city’s carbon footprint and dependence on fossil fuels by moving towards more sustainable energy sources. This includes promoting solar power as a solution to combat climate change.
Why Are People Embracing Renewable Energy In Louisville
Louisville is a city in eastern Kentucky that was originally settled by Scottish families in the 18th century. Today, it is the fifth-largest city in the state and the 105th-largest in the country. The local economy relies heavily on tobacco, with more than 70% of the workforce being directly employed in the industry. Additionally, the city is home to the Southern Regional Climate Center, which tracks weather patterns and conditions across the Southeast, including Tennessee, Kentucky, and parts of West Virginia, North Carolina, and Virginia. Climate change has become a major issue in the city, especially since the 2015 wildfires that ravaged over 135,000 acres across the state. While the city initially started as a stop along the great American railway, today it is most famous for its bourbon, barbecue, and festivals. For centuries, its residents have used wood products to fuel their homes and businesses.
The Importance of Alternative Energy
In order to combat climate change and its devastating effects, everyone needs to take a stand against the fossil fuels that are causing the planet to heat up. Renewable energy provides a clean and sustainable alternative to traditional energy sources, which means it is more likely to be effective in reducing emissions and the threat of climate change.
On June 1, 2020, Louisville became the first city in the US to fully adopt a renewable energy strategy. The goal is to reduce the city’s carbon footprint and dependence on fossil fuels by moving towards more sustainable energy sources. To that end, the city has committed to generating 100% of its annual energy needs from renewable sources by 2035.
One of the key players in the move towards renewable energy in Louisville was the citizens themselves. In August 2019, the Louisville Green Building Initiative received approval from the Louisville Metro Council to create a certification program for green buildings. The program will promote sustainable and environmentally beneficial construction.
The certification will become available in April 2021, at which point interested parties can apply for recognition.
How Can You Adopt A Renewable Energy Strategy At Home?
If you’re looking to adopt a renewable energy strategy at home, the first step is to determine how much energy you use. The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) states that your energy use may be higher than you think and offers some creative tips on how to reduce it. For example, when you turn on your fridge, you may think that you are just getting a drink or cooking something, but the unit actually uses more energy than that. Fridges and freezers rely on motors and gas to function, and those motors consume more energy than what you would typically put in to run a small appliance.
If you make a list of all the energy-consuming appliances in your home, you can determine which ones can be replaced with energy-saving devices. With new appliances, you may need an energy saving device such as a dimmer switch to regulate the amount of electricity they consume. Changing out your air-conditioning unit for one that uses more efficient technology or switching to LED bulbs can also reduce your energy consumption significantly.
How Much Does It Cost To Adopt Renewable Energy In Louisville?
The process of transitioning to a renewable energy-powered lifestyle is not a cheap one. You will certainly need to make some initial investments, but they will be worth it in the long run. In general, you will need to change out all of the light fixtures and appliances in your home (as well as all of the ones in your business). You will also need to invest in solar panels so that you can generate your own power, and you might have to get an electric vehicle to replace your car. All in all, the costs are likely to be more than you would spend on a regular smartphone data plan.
The city of Louisville has committed to spending $15 million on the implementation of its renewable energy strategy. Between the extra equipment and installation costs, you can expect to spend at least $20,000 to $30,000 on the process. The money will come from funds allocated for the mitigation of climate change. It is definitely a cost-effective solution, but not one that is low-cost.
The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Going Green
There are numerous advantages to going green, and if you’re looking to adopt a more sustainable energy source you should feel encouraged. Not only will you help combat climate change, but you will also save money in the long run. Some of the advantages of going green include:
- Lower energy bills
- Reduced carbon footprint
- Increased reliability
- Lower stress levels
- Enhanced safety
- Faster recovery from natural disasters
On the other hand, there are disadvantages to going green. Some of the disadvantages include:
- Additional workload
- More time required for home maintenance
- Additional costs (such as purchasing solar panels)
- Fewer appliances to maintain
- Potentially higher home heating bills in the winter
- Noise nuisance
- Additional food miles
- And the biggest disadvantage of all…
- Reduced convenience
In general, if you’re looking to adopt a sustainable energy source, you should consider all of the advantages and disadvantages before making a decision. The choice is ultimately up to you, but if you’re looking for a fresh start, going green can certainly provide some benefits.