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News Archives 2001



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October 2001

Customer Choice Would Advance Renewable Energy
Giving consumers a greater choice of how their electricity is generated could boost solar, wind, and other "green power" sources 40 percent by the end of the decade, according to a new study by NREL and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). The findings are based on detailed modeling of green power demand, drawing on the experience of green power markets to date and consumer response to other "green" products. Currently offered by more than 85 utilities in 29 states, green pricing gives consumers an option to help support additional electrical production from renewable resources, including solar, wind, hydropower, geothermal, and biomass resources. Green power marketing also has seen success in a limited number of states with retail market competition, but the recent suspension of customer choice in California represents a setback to the development of competitive market choices in other states.

Access the full report, "Forecasting the Growth of Green Power Markets in the United States," (PDF 890 KB) for more detailed information.

October 2001

New Financial Analysis Model for RE Technologies Now Available Online
The NREL Strategic Energy Analysis Center recently announced the launch of RET Finance, an Internet-based cost of electricity model that simulates a 30-year nominal dollar cash flow for a variety of renewable energy power projects. As an online application, RET Finance is accessible from anywhere using an Internet connection and a browser. RET Finance calculates project earnings, detailed cash flows, and debt payments and also computes a project's levelized cost-of-electricity, after-tax internal rate of return, and debt service coverage ratio. The model allows users to create project financial scenarios, save them for future use, and even share them with colleagues. Designed to encourage interaction, the application features an on-line community where visitors can join discussion groups, collaborate, and express their opinions. RET Finance was developed by the e-Analysis team in the NREL Strategic Energy Analysis Center.

September 2001

Latest Study Shows Consumer "Willingness-to-Pay" for Renewable Energy
A new study by the NREL Strategic Energy Analysis Center identifies key factors for ensuring the success of "green pricing" programs, and ranks programs nationwide for their relative effectiveness.

Currently offered by more than 85 utilities in 29 states, green pricing gives consumers an option to help support additional electrical production from renewable resources like solar and wind. The study found that the design and marketing of the "green power" product is a critical element of success. Other key factors include whether the program creates "personal value" for customers and the extent to which a utility partners with the community and other outside groups to publicize the program. Download the complete report (PDF 1.8 MB). For more information on green power markets and utility green pricing programs, visit the Green Power Network.