Green Power Growth Slows, but Opportunities Abound

As a national energy bill awaits the new U.S. Congressional session, those involved in the Renewable Energy market are wondering about the future of this developing piece of the competitive energy landscape.

Atlanta, Georgia – November 21, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] Threats of terrorism and recent accounting scandals have dominated everyone’s agenda of late, and the concern over the environment has faded somewhat as a result, reports the cover story in the November issue of Energy Competition Strategy Report (ECSR), published by Atlanta-based NHI Publications. The slowdown has prompted some to ask whether Renewable Energy markets are drying up, or are they ripe for picking? Many experts believe the latter, ECSR reports, especially in states where competitive energy markets already exist. Meanwhile, the pause in the growth of green energy markets presents an opportunity for marketers to educate their potential customers. “People largely are uninformed right now (about Renewable Energy sources),” says Bob Pares, senior vice president of RoperASW, a New York-based international market research firm. At the same time, research indicates many are just looking for a reason to go green. RoperASW’s 2002 Green Gauge study found that 51 percent of the respondents said they would be willing to pay more for electricity generated from renewable sources, a figure Pares says is “powerful” evidence of green power’s potential. Several U.S. investor-owned and public utilities, as well as green power marketers, are working hard to educate their customers about the benefits of green power, including its potential to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, ECSR finds. Several high-profile non-residential purchases of green power have occurred recently, helping to build public awareness of Renewable Energy’s benefits, according to Blair Swezey, principal policy adviser for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado.

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