Every year, AWEA presents industry awards to recognize individuals and companies that have demonstrated excellence in advancing the wind industry. The annual awards program recognizes those leaders, at all levels and areas of the industry, who have shown passion and a clear vision for wind energy.
This year, AWEA is launching a new award to recognize cities that have demonstrated that same support and dedication. The AWEA Windy Cities Award will be given annually to one city or municipal utility that has demonstrated a clear commitment to growing the wind industry – by making a wind purchase that year, announcing plans to procure wind energy, or through some other tangible action.
Wind energy is the fastest growing energy source in the world, and thanks to advanced technologies, the cost has fallen 66 percent in the past seven years. This reduced cost has made wind a more competitive energy source for cities to consider.
America’s cities have a long history with wind: the first municipal wind purchase was made by Austin Energy in 1994, and since then, there have been over 200 purchases of wind power made by over 100 cities. Combined, these purchases total 5.8 gigawatts – enough to power 280,000 average homes.
Over the past few years, we have seen a growing trend of cities turning to renewable energy. This transition has led several cities to harness the full power of wind. For example, Georgetown, Texas, is now running on 100 percent renewable energy, half of which is wind energy. And Greensburg, Kansas, has been operating on 100 percent wind energy since 2013.These are just two of many American cities that are making a positive impact on the push toward renewable energy in the U.S. And more than 500 cities have made big clean energy commitments in the past several months, so it’s clear there’s much more good news on the way.
As America’s cities continue to move toward affordable, clean wind energy, those that are doing the most to act on their commitments will be recognized and commended for their efforts. Stay tuned, as the first winner of the AWEA Windy Cities Award will be announced in the weeks to come!