PORTLAND (AP) – The state is lending its support to a campaign beginning Tuesday to increase the sale of electricity from renewable power sources including hydroelectric and biomass plants in Maine.

The campaign, called Clean Energy Maine, wants more homes and businesses to buy power generated by alternative energy sources, hoping to reduce the state’s dependence on oil and natural gas and cut air pollution.

Clean Energy Maine is the most recent attempt by the state and renewable energy advocates to convince Maine residents of the benefits in buying locally produced power, despite a more expensive price tag than conventional supplies.

Last year, a coalition of nearly two dozen organizations and businesses announced a statewide “green” power effort to switch 5 percent of the state’s electric market, or 60,000 customers, to renewable energy by 2008.

After an initial surge of interest, the effort by the Maine Green Power Connection has began to wane. To date, only about 2,000 homes and businesses have signed up. The goal now is to have 5,000 customers by the end of this year.

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