Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

The Central Appalachian region has the potential for immediate economic opportunities from energy efficiency investments and renewable energy production. A just transition will require serious investment in these areas. These investments include both engaging in public and private initiatives and passing policy measures to support the growing regional green energy market. The “Energy Efficiency in Appalachia” study listed below estimates that a set of modeled energy efficiency policies in the region would save consumers almost $10 billion annually on their energy bills by 2020 and creates over 37,000 jobs. The resources and websites below offer insight not only into the EE/RE potential for production and job creation, but also detail several successful regional projects in operation today.


  • Sustainable Biomass: A New Vision for Appalachian Land Use — A native of eastern Kentucky and a former underground coal miner, Nathan Hall sees a need for developing alternative energy resources in the mountains.
  • Energy Efficiency Measures Strengthen Local Child Care — Juetta and Gene Potter are co-owners of Country Care Daycare in Rockcastle County, Kentucky. The Potters started their child care business in 1996, primarily because they were unable to find child care for their own daughter.
  • Clean Energy Jobs — 9,000 clean energy jobs could be created in Eastern Kentucky and save Eastern Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) customers money. Folks from throughout EKPC’s service area and beyond have joined in efforts to persuade the power company to make planning decisions that would create these green jobs.
  • Organizing for Clean Energy in the Appalachia Coalfields — In the history of coal in America, Harlan County, Kentucky is legendary for its coal heritage, especially for the efforts of its people to organize for better living and working conditions. Labor unrest in the 1930s led to the county being referred to as “Bloody Harlan.”
  • Randy Wilson's Story — Clay County, Kentucky, resident Randy Wilson ran for the board of his electric cooperative on a platform of affordable energy, better energy choices, and good local jobs in 2009. Randy was the first person to oppose a sitting Jackson Energy board member since the co-op was founded in 1938.

Websites and Organizations

Reports and Resources


To suggest a resource or link: