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The quiet town of Nederland, Colorado, with roughly a couple thousand residents, has committed to a bold action that presents a competitive challenge to the rest of the state, as well as the US – maybe even the world. They’re aiming for 100% renewable energy use by the year 2025. It may be just one little town, but if this bold action is successful, it could have bold impact across the country as other towns and cities adapt their tactics.

Aspen and the rest of the cities which have gone green were motivated to reduce their environmental footprint, as well as become an inspiration to the rest of the world.

The move to go green is quite popular in Colorado, with Aspen already ahead of the pack. The skiing capital shifted to renewable energy, which includes wind, solar and geothermal heat, in 2015. This makes Aspen the third city within the US, to do so. The first two cities were Burlington, Vermont and Greensburg, Kansas.

In Colorado, the city of Pueblo is targeting 100% renewable energy by 2035, while Boulder is aiming to go completely green by 2030. Nederland, for its part, is charging forward by setting their target date to 2025.

According to the Boulder Daily Camera, the city committed to transitioning to 100% renewable energy after passing a unanimously approved city resolution. The Board of Trustees also voted to have their deadline set five years earlier than any other cities within the US, citing urgency.

The city’s current energy provider is Xcel Energy, a Minneapolis-Minnesota based utility holding company, which has 3.3 million electric customers and 1.8 million natural gas clients in various areas, including Colorado.

Since 1998, the company has been offering sustainable energy alternatives to its client’s and the communities it serves. To accomplish this, they have facilities which generate electricity from solar and wind energy. According to reports, over 2.3 million electric and natural gas clients converted to energy efficient programs, for households and businesses, as of 2015.

Xcel Energy is also offering incentives for its customers to install solar panels. The city of Nederland, and it’s close to 2,000 residents, hope to explore different options with the company in order to achieve their target.

Reducing Environmental Footprint

Aspen and the rest of the cities which have gone green were motivated to reduce their environmental footprint, as well as become an inspiration to the rest of the world. Most of them formerly relied on coal for energy, but have since shifted to a healthier combination of wind and solar.

Map of Nederland Co, Colorado

In a surprise move, California is also joining the green movement. The state’s goal is to produce and use 60% renewable energy by the year 2030 and become 100% dependent on renewable energy by 2045.

While known as the 3rd largest oil producing state, California is now looking at renewable energy in order to reduce pollution and cut carbon emissions within its cities. It also aims to create new jobs in the renewable energy industry.

Currently, 33% of the state’s electricity is imported from other sources. At the same time 6% of its power is sourced from coal. Compared to the state of Hawaii, which has also committed to 100% renewable energy by 2045, California has a huge population. This means it will need to lay down massive infrastructure in order to sustain the power requirements for its cities, businesses, and industries.

Still, the efforts of Nederland, Aspen, California, and Hawaii are not only admirable, they are considered bold and innovative. These communities and their leaders have taken a strong stand towards a sustainable energy future. This involves taking concrete measures to achieve their goals, within the set deadlines, on top of working alongside local governments to insure a smooth transition.