Palo Alto leads United States in renewable energy use
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
April 10, 2006
Palo Alto has the highest percentage of renewable energy users in the country according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) 2005 Top Ten list.
With 13.6% of utility customers enrolled in the city’s renewable energy program, known as PaloAltoGreen, Palo Alto is leading the United States green energy. Palo Alto’s participation rate is more than 10 times better than the national average of 1.3% participation for green pricing programs.
“We are proud to be a community that makes a voluntary green power program, like PaloAltoGreen, the enormous success that it is,” said Palo Alto Mayor, Judy Kleinberg, in a news release. “This is just another example of Palo Altans’ environmental stewardship in maintaining a safe, healthy and sustainable city.”
With renewable energy supplied by 3 Phases Energy, PaloAltoGreen offers City of Palo Alto Utilities residential, business, and industrial customers the option to support the generation of electricity from 100% renewable wind and solar resources. Voluntary participants pay an additional cost of 1.5 cents per kilowatt-hour to ensure their energy comes from “green” sources.
“PaloAltoGreen’s #1 ranking establishes the program as a national leader in clean energy offerings in the utility industry,” said Blair Swezey, Principal Policy Advisor for NREL, the U.S. Department of Energy’s primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. “Green pricing programs are fulfilling the ever-increasing consumer demand for clean energy options and are indicative of the overall growth in renewable energy industries.”
Companies too are joining residential customers in signing up for sustainable energy. To date, more 100 businesses have committed to PaloAltoGreen, including major corporations such as Agilent Technologies, CV Therapeutics, HP, Lockheed Martin, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Roche Palo Alto, and Schering-Plough Biopharma.
Participation in renewable energy programs. Source: NREL
In terms of total sales, the largest green power program in the United States is run by Austin Energy. Fueled by landfill gas and wind, renewable energy sales for Austin Energy were 49.7 megawatts for 2005. Xcel Energy in Minnesota had the largest total number of participants at 49,354.
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California plans to introduce legislation that will impose binding limiting on future greenhouse gas emissions. The state aims to cut current levels of emissions 10 percent by 2020, to bring pollution in line with 1990 levels. It would become the first state to implement mandatory controls on greenhouse gasses.
California adopts massive solar energy project January 13, 2005
The California Public Utilities Commission approved a $2.9 billion program to make the state one of the world’s largest producers of solar power. The plan would add 3,000 megawatts of solar energy over 11 years through the installation of 1 million rooftop solar energy systems on homes, businesses, farms, schools and public buildings. The amount of electricity generated would be equivalent to about six new power stations. Solar power could save California utility customers an estimated $9 billion from a reduced need to build new power plants and purchase electricity supplies at peak demand.
This article used media materials provided by 3Phases energy.