Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Renewable energy marketing conference held

The 11th annual National Renewable Energy Marketing Conference was held in San Fransisco this year, sponsored by an array of businesses, utilities, and trade groups. Renewable energy developers, utility executives, green power suppliers, manufacturers, government agencies, and others gathered to discuss the challenges and opportunities in this burgeoning industry. The theme of the conference was: “Renewables on the rise: market momentum, development and innovation."

Besides the EPA
challenging Fortune 500 companies to double their green power purchases, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released its annual report showing green power sales grew by 37% in 2005, mostly due to wind, and increased its customer base 21%.

More from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA):

“Sales of renewable energy increase significantly each year, confirming that voluntary markets for renewable energy are strong and contribute to new generation and supply,” said Center for Resource Solutions President Jan Hamrin.

My favorite statistic: NREL reported that in 2005 and 2006, ten utilities actually lowered their premium for green power, thanks to the lower cost of renewable generation or increased cost of conventional energy. Even better: customers who purchased wind power from four different green power programs in Oklahoma, Colorado and Texas had electric rates lower than those buying conventional power.

Again from AWEA:

“That’s significant,” said Ed Holt, president of Ed Holt and Associates, which has done work with NREL. “A few utilities have been able to structure their programs to pass the cost benefit on to customers.” Such effective programs, he said, “will lead more customers to buy wind power not only for the environmental benefits but for the [protection from rising fuel prices].”

But it's not just homeowners: the green power market has seen a big increase in commercial interest as well, growing 101% between 2004 and 2005. Find out if you can buy green power in your state here.

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