Kentucky, the Bluegrass State, is famous not only for its pastures, but also for its many scenic natural landscapes — lakes, rivers, and stunning smoky mountains. Home to nearly 4.5 million people and sprawling across nearly 40 thousand square miles, Kentucky is also known for its mining industry, and has thus often found itself squarely in the center of debates around climate change, energy, and economy.

While Kentucky’s average temperature did not change significantly over the past century, most areas within the state have warmed in the last twenty years, and simultaneously an increase in average rainfall. Like many other states, Kentucky’s water supply and soil health is threatened even as precipitation increases because of longer, hotter periods between rainfalls. Parched soil is less able to absorb rain, and thus the issue becomes self-perpetuating.

Warmer temperatures will also inhibit frost and extend growing seasons, and drought is expected to reduce crop yields. Kentucky residents are expected to see a rise in extreme heat from 15 days per year today to 70 by 2050. For a state ranking consistently at the bottom of the stack for health care access and quality, this is extremely concerning. Extreme heat particularly effects people who are already vulnerable to health risks, like the elderly, the chronically sick, and historically marginalized populations.

The commercial coal industry in Kentucky dates back to the early 19th century and the state continues to produce enormous amounts of coal. It is the fifth coal-producing state in the country and over 70% of electricity generated in Kentucky is coal-fired. That proportion actually indicates a decline, as coal historically contributed over 90% of Kentucky’s electricity generation, but older power plants have become too costly to maintain in recent years although some of those plants now burn natural gas. Hydroelectric dams produced about 6% of the state’s energy in 2019.

Kentucky established The Climate Action Plan Council which submitted a report in 2011, which has not been updated since 2013. In the absence of continued state-wide action, Louisville, Kentucky’s biggest city, created its own action plan. It joined the 100 Resilient Cities Network and set forth a number of initiatives which not only work to curb emissions but also to help residents adapt to a changing climate and mitigate inequities resulting from climate change consequences. Critics say Louisville’s plan isn’t ambitious enough, as cutting emissions by 80% by 2050 still leaves Louisville falling short of emissions reductions that, according to the United Nations, are necessary to stave off the worst effects of climate change.

In April, 2021 Louisville entered a partnership with the NREL to help them map out a roadmap to reach their goals.



Fleming County Judge-Executive expresses concern over industrial solar

The Biden administration’s proposed decarbonization goals have created a strong push for renewable energy and some local residents are fighting back against the encroachment of “green” technology into farmlands that have always been used to…

Solar Alliance begins construction 500-kW utility solar project for LG&E and KU

Solar Alliance Energy Inc. is pleased to announce it has commenced construction on a 500-kilowatt solar project in Kentucky for Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company, regulated utilities that serve more than…

As coal mining comes to end, this East Kentucky land is set to house renewable energy project

As coal continues to be mined at a Bell County site, a portion of the land will become home to a renewable energy project that would provide thousands of jobs and generate electricity for the…

Kentucky utility adds more solar as Solar Shares Program gains customers

Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company begin construction on fifth section of solar facility that, when complete, will provide 4MW of electricity to Solar Share subscribers.

Solar Over Louisville: New program encourages renewable energy

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and the Louisville Sustainability Council announced the Solar Over Louisville campaign Friday. It’ll give families in the area more collective buying power to get discounted wholesale rates for solar panel installation…

Louisville activists call on utilities, regulators to act on climate change

Louisville Metro passed a resolution in 2020 to make city government operations 100% renewable by 2035. But the city’s utility, Louisville Gas & Electric, has other plans.

Kentucky Coal Mine Will Become Giant “Water Battery” Energy Storage Project

Whelp, that was fast. No sooner does the Ford Motor Company put Kentucky on the clean tech map for EV battery manufacturing, when along comes the leading hydropower company Rye Development with a proposal to…

The sun shines bright on Kentucky: New solar facility to provide sustainable energy to UofL and other organizations

The University of Louisville is part of new power agreements between the Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company to provide more renewable energy options. As part of this ongoing commitment, the planned…

City enters partnership with National Renewable Energy Laboratory to meet 100% renewable goals

Mayor Greg Fischer announced today that Louisville Metro Government (LMG) has partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to chart a course in meeting the city’s 100% renewable-energy goals. The…

Kentucky Climate Action Plan

Final Report of the Kentucky Climate Action Plan Council.


Kentucky State Profile and Energy Estimates

Bordered on the north by the Ohio River, Kentucky stretches from the Appalachian Mountains in the east to the flood plain of the Mississippi River in the west. In between, the rolling hills of the…

Energy State Bill Tracking Database

The searchable Energy Storage Legislation Database displays information in interactive maps and charts, tracking state activity from 2017 to the present.

Environment and Natural Resources State Bill Tracking Database

The National Conference of State Legislatures tracks environment and natural resources bills that have been introduced in the 50 states, territories and Washington, D.C.

The First National Flood Risk Assessment

The First Street Foundation Flood Model represents the culmination of decades of research and development made possible by building upon existing knowledge and frameworks regularly referenced in the identification of flood risk.

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Kentucky

Between 2017 and 2019, Kentucky experienced two floods, three severe storms, and one freeze. The damages of these events led to losses of at least $1 billion.

Kentucky’s Climate Threats

Kentucky is facing a dramatic rise in heat wave days in the coming decades, from about 15 per year today, to as many as 70 a year by 2050.

State-by-State: Climate Change in Kentucky

Kentucky is Vulnerable to Climate Change

What Climate Change Means for Kentucky

Kentucky’s climate is changing. Although the average temperature did not change much during the 20th centur y, most of the commonwealth has warmed in the last 20 years.

Trading coal for renewable energy would create jobs in Kentucky, group says

Greater emphasis on energy efficiency and on producing electricity from renewable sources would create thousands of jobs in Kentucky, reduce electricity bills and help improve the health of residents by cutting pollution, according to a…

Kentucky Won’t Escape Human-Driven Climate Change, Federal Report Warns

The report is notably blunt: The climate is changing faster than at any point in modern civilization and the responsibility rests squarely on the shoulders of mankind. The White House issued the report on Black…

Recurrence intervals based on the historical frequency

Descriptive information and historical data highlighting aspects of Kentucky’s climate.

What climate change means for Kentucky

Since Kentucky is an inland state, many people assume climate change is not a big concern. Nothing could be further from the truth. The United States Environmental Protection Agency issued an article stating key concerns…

Sustainable Energy Solutions

Energy efficiency -Taking action to reduce energy use, including doing things as simple as replace traditional lightbulbs with CFL bulbs that use less energy. At a minimum, increasing energy efficiency could meet all of the…

Kentucky Green And Healthy Schools

Through this program, a team of students, teachers, and school administrators (a "Green Team") work together to improve the school facilities in nine different categories. For more information on the different categories, visit the Program…

Lobby your legislators about Sustainable Energy

Along with our partners in the Kentucky Sustainable Energy Alliance (KySEA), we support the Clean Energy Opportunity Act, expanding Kentucky's net metering law, and expanding energy efficiency and renewable energy in our schools, called the…


Ky. lawmakers vote to ‘protect fossil fuel industry’

By Ryan Van Velzer   03/24/22  
On Monday the United Nations secretary general warned the planet is “sleepwalking into a climate catastrophe,” but that’s not what concerns Republican Sen. Robby Mills of Henderson.

Study says climate change will make allergy seasons worse

By Ally Blake   03/16/22  
Kentucky is already known to have bad allergy seasons, but a new study suggests that climate change will make pollen season longer. As the temperature continues to rise, plants will be able to bloom earlier,…

Coal to crypto: The gold rush bringing bitcoin miners to Kentucky

By Avi Asher- Schapiro   03/15/22  
In a ravine deep in the Appalachian mountains, Warren Rogers stands on the ruins of an abandoned coal-washing plant that used to prepare hundreds of tons of the fuel a day for transport through the…

Ky. bill would divest from financial companies that boycott fossil fuels

By Ryan Van Velzer   03/02/22  
More than a hundred banks around the world have committed to divesting from fossil fuel resources to combat the climate crisis as part of the Net-Zero Banking Alliance.

Battered and Flooded by Increasingly Severe Weather, Kentucky and Tennessee Have a Big Difference in Forecasting

By James Bruggers and Caroline Eggers   02/24/22  
Tammy Shaw and her granddaughter, Hope Collier, were trying to find an escape path when water started spilling under their doors.

Kentucky faces greater tornado risks because of climate change

By Ryan Van Velzer   12/16/21  
Determining the role of climate change in a single tornado is difficult, but climate change did play a role in the tornado system that hit Kentucky over the weekend, and extreme weather events like it…

Kentucky bourbon makers plan for the future under climate change

By Ryan Van Velzer   12/08/21  
Kentucky bourbon wouldn’t be what it is without the minerals from the state’s water, the color and flavor imparted by charred white oak, or the mash bill made from corn, rye and barley.

Beshear unveils new energy strategy without mentioning climate change

By Ryan Van Velzer   10/20/21  
Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear unveiled a new energy strategy for the state Wednesday without mentioning climate change, its impacts or goals to curb carbon emissions.

USDA accepts more than 2.5 million acres in Grassland CRP Signup, Double Last Year’s Signup

By OC Monitor Staff   09/12/21  
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has accepted offers for more than 2.5 million acres from agricultural producers and private landowners for enrollment through this year’s Grassland Conservation Reserve Program Signup. This is double last year’s…

USDA invests over $129,000 to expand renewable energy infrastructure in rural Ky.

By Monica Watkins   09/09/21  
he United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development Kentucky announced USDA awarded over $129,000 in grants to 12 rural Kentucky businesses and agricultural producers. These investment made through the Rural Energy for America Program aim…

‘If the creek is up, I’m dead’: The human toll of Kentucky’s infrastructure woes

By Adam K. Raymond   09/09/21  
In some ways, Stephen Lathrem feels lucky that the massive heart attack he suffered a decade ago hit when it did. “If I'd had it the next day, I wouldn’t be here talking to you,”…

Climate Change Offers More Ideal Days For Mosquitoes In Louisville

By Ryan Van Velzer   08/27/21  
Standing in a thicket of wetland woods beside a church in Newburg, entomologist Matt Vanderpool attaches the finishing touches on a mosquito trap. A purple glow lures the mosquitoes in, a bit like a bug…

New solar farm planned in Henderson County would be largest renewable energy farm yet

By Chuck Stinnett   08/19/21  
A major power generator is seeking state authority to build and operate a third large solar energy farm in rural Henderson County. Sebree Solar LLC proposes building a 1,200-acre solar array north and west of…

Amazon to build new solar farm in Kentucky amid renewable energy push

By Haley Cawthon   06/23/21 Inc. has just announced 14 new renewable energy projects across the globe, and one of them will be happening here in the Bluegrass State.

Kentucky AG part of 16-state coalition against climate change disclosure

By Steve Rogers   06/15/21  
Attorney General Daniel Cameron joined a 16-state coalition Tuesday in filing comments before the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to push back against a Biden Administration initiative requiring companies to make climate change disclosures…

The ‘Beef’ With Beef: Cattle, Climate Change, And Alternative Meat

By Sherry Listgarten   05/28/21  
Many people might think of Blake Munger as a cattle farmer as he walks through his pasture land in western Kentucky, but he sees things a little differently nowadays. “I don’t know which is more…

Inside Clean Energy: Solar Industry Wins Big in Kentucky Ruling

By Dan Gearino   05/20/21  
The people in Kentucky’s small rooftop solar industry are used to fighting for their livelihoods against utilities, but they aren’t used to winning. So a ruling last week from the Kentucky Public Service Commission was…

Kentucky Coal Production, Employment Decline Slows in 1st Quarter

By Curtis Tate   05/18/21  
Kentucky coal production and employment fell by the smallest amount in nearly two years, according to new data. The state’s coal mines produced 6.5 million tons in the first three months of 2021, according to…

Newly released NOAA data shows Kentucky’s climate is now warmer, wetter

By Adam Burniston   05/13/21  
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Administration, or NOAA, just released new 30-year climate normals and for Kentucky and we’ve seen some notable changes in our average temperature and precipitation. Anytime you hear the WKYT…

Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark: behind production of top-selling bourbons, a new push to go green

By Bruce Schreiner, AP   04/26/21  
The process of making fine whiskey involves aging spirits to a golden brown, but a bourbon producing giant is going green along the way. Beam Suntory, producer of top-selling Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark, both…

Louisville partnering with Energize Kentucky to administer Energy Program Assessment District Program

Mayor Greg Fischer announced today that Louisville Metro Government has entered into an agreement with Energize Kentucky for the administration of an Energy Project Assessment District (EPAD) program. The EPAD program allows for Louisville’s businesses…

Kentucky Ranked One of the Least Green States in America

By CityBeat Staff   04/19/21  
As Earth Day approaches (on April 22), financial website WalletHub has once again released a timely report. In their "2021's Greenest States" rankings, the site looked at all 50 states to uncover which ones are…

Miners’ union backs shift from coal in exchange for jobs

By Matthew Daly Associated Press   04/19/21  
The nation's largest coal miners' union said Monday it would accept President Joe Biden's plan to move away from coal and other fossil fuels in exchange for a "true energy transition" that includes thousands of…

Global warming perceptions by state: Most Americans accept human fault

By Dante Chinni   04/15/21  
It's been more than 50 years since the words "Earth Day" entered the country's environmental lexicon, and polling data show there is an increasing understanding that humans do, in fact, play a large role in…

This is How Much Renewable Energy Kentucky is Producing

By Samuel Stebbins and Grant Suneson   04/01/21  
Within weeks of taking office, President Joe Biden issued a series of executive orders aimed at making the U.S. carbon neutral by 2050. This goal hinges on eliminating greenhouse gas emissions in electricity production --…

How Climate Change Explains a Soggy 2020

By Adam K. Raymond   01/22/21  
Last February, six inches of rain fell on eight southeastern Kentucky counties, burying dozens of roads beneath icy, brown flood waters and sweeping two mobile homes down the Cumberland River. In March, Paducah was pelted…

LG&E KU Propose Rate Increase Of More than $200 Per Year

By Ryan Van Velzer   01/20/21  
Nearly a million Kentuckians could see their gas and electricity rates increase under a proposal from the state’s largest utility, according to a rate adjustment application with the Kentucky Public Service Commission.

Volkswagon settlement money to pay for new cleaner-running Northern Kentucky school buses

Chris Mayhew   01/20/21  
Some Northern Kentucky schools will buy new buses using federal environmental settlement money with German-based automaker Volkswagon. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced the $8.13 in awards to schools Tuesday in a news release with Energy…

This state-of-the-art indoor farm is transforming Appalachia into an agricultural powerhouse

By Adele Peters   01/19/21  
Inside a sprawling new indoor farm near the small eastern Kentucky town of Morehead, the first harvest of tomatoes is being readied to ship to grocery stores across the country. For AppHarvest, the startup running…

Kentucky PSC limits utility rate increase and protects rooftop solar – for now

Last summer and fall, KFTC members and our allies fought back hard when Kentucky Power — a monopoly utility serving more than 100,000 households in eastern Kentucky — proposed to sharply raise rates in the…

New solar farm now online at Eastern Kentucky University

By Adam Burniston   01/06/21  
A new solar farm just recently went online at Eastern Kentucky University, providing clean renewable energy to some campus buildings. The solar farm on the corner of Kit Carson Drive and Lancaster Avenue is one…

Kentucky Transportation, Finance Cabinet Upgrade Roadway Lighting with LEDs

“Modernizing our roadway lights with more efficient and longer lasting LEDs is a win-win strategy to stretch taxpayer dollars, improve roadway visibility and reduce the number of maintenance-related lane closures,” said KYTC Secretary Jim Gray.

Kentucky Power awaits state commission action on net metering reform proposal

By Kim Riley   11/25/20  
The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) on Wednesday finished an eight-day formal hearing on Kentucky Power Company’s net metering rate reform filing.

Voices Of 100%: Louisville’s Clean Energy Pledge Takes On Multiple Crises

By John Farrell   11/20/20  
Where do local climate and clean energy goals lie in the priority list, when the COVID-19 induced economic crisis and the crisis of racial inequality are so pressing?

Formal hearings get under way on Kentucky Power’s net metering reform request

By Kim Riley   11/17/20  
State regulators this week began a series of formal hearings on a first-of-a-kind filing by Kentucky Power Company, which seeks net metering rate reform.

Pioneering in renewable energy: college installs Solar Smartflower

By Lane Ball   11/16/20  
Rooftop solar panels are a fairly common sight these days, as are solar arrays. Now, a new wave of solar energy products have made their way to eastern Kentucky. At the Ashland Community and Technical…

Louisville Among New Entrants on CDP’s Annual ‘A-List’ Cities Ranking

By Kate Zerrenner   11/16/20  
Today CDP released its latest list of “A cities” — cities around the world that are leaders in environmental action. To make the grade, a city must have, among other things, conducted a city-wide emissions inventory, set an…

Kentucky Power Seeks To Devalue Rooftop Solar, Raise Rates In Eastern Kentucky

By Ryan Van Velzer   11/09/20  
In the first case of its kind, an eastern Kentucky utility has asked regulators to diminish the value of the renewable energy that rooftop solar customers add to the electric grid.

From immigration to health care, how will a Biden presidency impact Kentucky?

By Chris Kenning   11/07/20  
From immigration and the economy to health care and LGBTQ rights, President-elect Joe Biden promises to bring significant changes to Kentuckians — even as he faces the potential of a Republican-controlled U.S. Senate intent on obstructing him.

Commercial Chiller Plant Energy Savings in Kentucky

Our GREENandSAVE Staff is always on the lookout for cost-effective energy savings to help businesses in Kentucky become more sustainable. The Energy Intelligence Center has developed some excellent Chiller Plant Energy Savings ranging from 15% to 40% via…

Mayor proclaims today Energy Efficiency Day in Louisville

Mayor Greg Fischer proclaimed today Energy Efficiency Day in Louisville, saying the global climate crisis is also a health issue. “Climate change is a global health crisis, and as we have seen with the COVID-19…

Kentucky’s climate is changing. Will its politics?

By Andrew McCormick   09/25/20  
April 15. That’s the traditional frost-free date in Schochoh, the small community in south-central Kentucky, where Sam Halcomb and his family own and operate Walnut Grove Farms.

Kentucky’s climate is suffering. Can the state slip the industry ties that prevent change?

By Andrew McCormick   09/24/20  
April 15. That’s the traditional frost-free date in Schochoh, the small community in south-central Kentucky, where Sam Halcomb and his family own and operate Walnut Grove Farms. Before then, the soft red winter wheat that…

Cities With the Highest Flood Risk in Every State

By Andrew Lisa   08/23/20  
Floods accounted for three of the 14 natural disasters that caused at least $1 billion in damage in the United States in 2019. In total, flooding impacted 14 million Americans last year and put another…

Mitigating and Preparing for Climate Change

The impacts of climate change are being experienced in Louisville with more intense heat waves, bigger storms, and increased flooding. These changes affect all sectors of our communities, including human health, natural resources, infrastructure, emergency…

1,700-acre solar-energy farm proposed to be built on Henderson-Webster county line

By Chuck Stinnett   05/27/20  
A nearly 1,700-acre solar-energy farm — which would be the largest in Kentucky — is proposed to be developed on the Henderson-Webster county line to generate power for Big Rivers Electric Corp., the Henderson-based power…

Ky Coal Association: Renewable Energy Is Not Reliable And Shouldn’t Be Subsidized

By Tyler White   05/27/20  
As the federal government contemplated how to help people hurt by the pandemic and lockdown, the renewable energy industry was scrambling behind the scenes to use the COVID-19 rescue package to extend something called the…

Dept. of Energy announces $450K in grants for Kentucky

U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette announced Thursday that the Department of Energy (DOE) will award 256 grants totaling $53 million to 211 small businesses in 35 states and the District of Columbia. These awards…

Knoxville City Council on Climate and Energy: Amelia Parker

By Brady Watson   05/22/20  
Amelia Parker was sworn in as a City Council member At-Large, seat C on Dec. 21, 2019. Her current term ends in December of 2023.

Kentucky PSC approves LG&E/KU to provide solar power to Toyota and Dow

By Chris Galford   05/13/20  
Under new renewable power agreements (RPA) approved by the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) this week, the Louisville Gas and Electric Company (LG&E) and Kentucky Utilities Company (KU) will be able to provide solar power…