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Blogs / ICMA | blog / How Your Community Can Avenge the Effects of Climate Change: Harness Solar Energy

How Your Community Can Avenge the Effects of Climate Change: Harness Solar Energy

On May 1 Marvel Studios is releasing this year’s most anticipated blockbuster film, Avengers: Age of Ultron. This movie is an adaptation of a popular comic book about a group of diverse heroes who come together to avenge the devastating effects of attacks on earth by villains. The same can be said about local governments that come together to “avenge” the effects of climate change by implementing solar energy initiatives!

Solar energy is not a new phenomenon.  Methods used to harness the sun’s power have been around for centuries.  Check out this fun infographic timeline from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The Center for Sustainable Communities is working with local governments across the country to develop and implement solar energy initiatives. The Knowledge Network is also promoting solar energy, sustainability, and resilience by providing many resources on these topics.   Here are five on how your community can avenge the effects of climate change:

  1. This white paper from Johnson Controls explains how solar water heating in the U.S. has the potential to reduce local government energy costs. While presently there are multiple challenges ahead for solar water heating, the long-term trends appear to work in its favor.
  2. This case study on Chapel Hill, North Carolina, shows how it promoted solar photovoltaic (PV) in its 2020 Comprehensive Plan.  The author states that the best way to promote solar initiatives is to first build internal capacity and take the long view when planning.
  3. Boulder, Colorado, is providing financial assistance to incentivize solar thermal systems  in its community.
  4. Airlight Energy and IBM are looking to make solar systems two to three times lower in cost by 2017.  Learn more from this press release. The more affordable these systems become, the more local governments can implement them in their community.
  5. One of the best ways to realize solar energy is in the development of a solar garden.  This blog post outlines how the town of Milton, New Hampshire, by contracting with a New Hampshire-based solar company, was able to install a solar garden in a capped landfill.

How does your community implement and promote solar energy? Share your stories below.

Douglas Shontz

Intern, Local Government Management Knowledge