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December 2004

Energy Analysis Forum Discusses State/Regional Electricity Markets
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory held its fourth Energy Analysis Forum on November 9-10, 2004, in Golden, Colorado. The two-day event, "Understanding State and Regional Electricity Markets: Analytic Issues for Efficiency and Renewable Energy," brought together key decision makers and analysts to look at critical issues relating to the development of markets for renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. The forum focused on state and regional electricity markets, with an emphasis on policy issues, financing, and market opportunities and barriers.

The first-day sessions were a combination of presentations and group discussions, providing background on these analytic issues. On the second day, smaller "working groups" discussed available tools and studies, and identified analytic needs. The final session included a discussion of analytic needs and recommendations for next steps.

December 2004

Solar and Wind Energy Resource Assessment (SWERA) Model Online
The availability of reliable, accurate, and easily accessible solar and wind energy resource data is critical — and it can greatly accelerate the deployment of these technologies. The Solar and Wind Energy Resource Assessment (SWERA) is a pilot project designed to compile such data in 13 developing countries and to facilitate investments in solar and wind energy projects. The Strategic Energy Analysis Center (SEAC) developed a Geo-spatial Toolkit, which uses a Geographic Information System (GIS) to easily access this data. The SWERA Geo-spatial Toolkit is:

  • Easy to use - not directed at a technical audience

  • Allows people with no GIS experience to look at and analyze GIS data

  • Will be distributed free of charge with resource data to 13 countries that are part of the SWERA project

  • Can facilitate renewable development in these countries by providing easy access to the resource data

  • Is being integrated with the project analysis tool HOMER®.

SWERA information can be accessed online - please contact Dan Getman in SEAC with any comments or questions.

November 2004

Green Power Marketing Conference Features New York Governor
New York Governor George E. Pataki highlighted his state's leadership in developing a strong renewable energy industry during a keynote address at the recent Ninth Annual National Green Power Marketing Conference. As part of the October 4-6 event in Albany, the governor also announced $1.2 million in awards for seven projects that will help develop a broad range of renewable energy technologies in New York State.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Center for Resource Solutions (CRS), the conference reviews the status of green power marketing in electricity markets and explores strategies to increase the development of renewable energy resources through customer choice. Participants heard from national and regional experts on topics including:

  • Defining renewable energy attributes and values
  • Using green premiums to finance renewable energy projects
  • Proven strategies for marketing green power to customers
  • Innovative utility partnerships to improve market success
  • State incentives for green power market development

For more about the conference and the leadership awards, visit the Green Power Network. Conference presentations, as well as a Webcast archive of the talks, also are available on the site.

November 2004

New Green Power Publications Available Online
The Strategic Energy Analysis Center (SEAC) recently published the following reports, in conjunction with the Green Power Marketing Conference:

Green Power Marketing in the United States: A Status Report (Seventh Edition)

(PDF 2.1 MB) Download Adobe Reader.
Beginning in the early 1990s, a small number of U.S. utilities began offering "green power" options to their customers. Today, more than 50% of all U.S. consumers have an option to purchase some type of green power product from a retail electricity provider. This report provides an overview of green power marketing activity in the United States, including an overview of green power markets, consumer response, and recent industry trends. The publication also describes utility green pricing programs available nationally and discusses companies that actively market green power in competitive markets. Finally, the report provides information on a select number of large, nonresidential green power purchasers, including governmental agencies, universities, and businesses.

Trends in Utility Green Pricing Programs (2003)

(PDF 898 KB) Download Adobe Reader.
Today, more than 500 utilities in regulated electricity markets — or about 16% of all utilities nationally — offer their customers green power options. Through more than 100 programs, more than 33 million customers spanning 34 states have the ability to purchase renewable energy. This report presents year-end 2003 data on utility green pricing programs, and examines trends in consumer response and program implementation over time. The data provided in this report can be used by utilities as benchmarks by which to gauge the success of their green power programs.

October 2004

Forum to Examine State/Regional Electricity Markets
There are still a few spaces left for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL) fourth Energy Analysis Forum on November 9-10, 2004. This two-day event, "Understanding State and Regional Electricity Markets: Analytic Issues for Efficiency and Renewable Energy," will be held in Golden, Colorado. This Strategic Energy Analysis Center (SEAC)-sponsored forum brings together key decision makers and analysts to look at critical issues relating to the development of markets for renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. The forum will focus on state and regional electricity markets, with an emphasis on a better understanding of policy issues, financing, and market opportunities and barriers.

The forum sessions are a combination of presentations and group discussions, providing background on these analytic issues. Presenters, who come from diverse energy sectors and represent various regions, will include:

  • Maine State Treasurer Dale McCormick, who will give the keynote address on the Treasurer's Green Initiative. She'll discuss this green investing activity, which is a joint effort with the treasurer of Vermont.

  • Martin Whittaker, VP of Environmental Solutions for Swiss Re, who will highlight the group's analysis of environmental risk that companies, states, the nation, and the world face — as well as opportunities for alternative energy to mitigate risk.

On the second day, smaller "working groups" discuss available tools and studies, and identify analytic needs. The final session includes a full group discussion of a framework for prioritizing analytic needs, as well as recommendations for next steps.

October 2004

HOMER® Adds Air Quality Analysis Capabilities
HOMER®, a micropower optimization model developed by NREL, helps design and analyze off-grid and grid-connected power systems. One of the HOMER® model's newest features is its enhanced ability to estimate air emissions for different micropower systems. The model's optimization and sensitivity analysis capabilities can explore the amount and cost of air emissions constraints or penalties, and rapidly determine the cost-effectiveness of a variety of technologies.The HOMER® model also can analyze simple and complex hybrid distributed generation (DG) systems and grid-connection alternatives. For more information, visit the HOMER® model website. You also can access a fact sheet highlighting the HOMER® model's air-quality analysis capabilities (PDF 613 KB) or a general fact sheet (PDF 934 KB) about this unique tool.

July 2004

NREL Sponsors Workshop on GIS/Regionalization for EERE
The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's (EERE) technologies and resources are often regionally specific in terms of availability, cost, and performance. The benefits of EERE's work also are often local in nature, such as reduced emissions. This work is focused on developing the capability of modeling the resources for, the use of, benefits/costs, and other aspects of EERE technologies on a regional basis.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) workshop was convened to review the state of GIS and regionalization in NEMS and other EERE models, to identify best practices and gaps, and to provide guidance for program planning.

To learn more about GIS at NREL, access Dynamic Maps, Geographic Information System (GIS) Data and Analysis Tools website.