The Montana Renewable Energy Association and Renewable Northwest have launched a campaign to expand the use of renewable energy in Montana.
The new marketing campaign – called Charge! – focuses on economic, rather than environmental, reasons to turn to wind, solar and energy efficiency measures.
“This is about focusing the conversation on what’s really driving change in Montana’s energy economy and taking control of our energy future,” says Jeff Fox of Renewable Northwest. “The argument isn’t whether things are changing – it’s how to respond. Montana needs to take charge of our energy future by investing in wind, solar and efficiency technologies, or we risk getting left behind.”
According to the group, more than half of all electricity generated in Montana is exported to buyers in Oregon, Washington and California, and demand for coal-powered electricity is drying up as these West Coast states gradually phase more renewable energy into their portfolios.
The campaign is promoting a video that uses historic images and context to highlight how Montanans have always moved forward even as other historical industrial booms have slowed or halted entirely.
In addition, Charge! will feature a billboard campaign and invest in social media marketing that seeks to ask citizens, “Should Montana take charge of its energy economy or wait to see what happens?”
“Although coal is not in danger of going away tomorrow, Montana has a narrow window of opportunity to prepare for the future,” says Ben Brouwer of the Montana Renewable Energy Association. “As we work to meet the demands of West Coast markets with Montana’s powerful wind resource, it’s critically important that we modernize our own energy supply, too.”
“We really do have a fundamental choice right now that will decide how competitive our energy economy will be in the future,” adds Fox. “Montana’s major energy customers are telling us what type of energy they will buy 10 or 20 years from now. If we play our cards right, we can take advantage of a new energy boom in renewables that creates thousands of new jobs and millions of dollars in new revenue, or we can settle for nothing. It’s really up to us.”