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The Eighth National Green Power Marketing Conference -- Increasing
Access, Appeal, and Awareness -- reviewed the status of the green power
marketing industry and explored innovative ways of designing and
marketing green power products. The conference, held in Chicago,
Illinois, November 3–5, 2003, was organized by the U.S.
Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),
EPRI, and Center for Resource Solutions. The conference was cosponsored
by EPRI; the Office of Power Technologies, Energy Efficiency and
Renewable Energy, U.S. DOE; U.S. EPA; Center for Resource Solutions;
City of Chicago; ComEd; Green Mountain Energy Company; Sterling Planet,
Inc.; and Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation.
ObjectiveThe goals of the Green Power Marketing Conference were to review the
past year's green power highlights, analyze utility green pricing
programs, present insights into how to target green power demand,
examine green certificate trading and tracking mechanisms, and identify
the best ways to market and sell green power. EPRI presented Green
Power Leadership Awards to recognize those significantly advancing the
development of renewable electricity sources in the marketplace.
ApproachDay 1 sessions at the conference focused on Green Power and the Future
of Renewable Energy, Green Pricing in the Midwest, Renewable Energy
Certificates: Market Trends and New Initiatives, and Strategies for
Improving Appeal. Day 2 sessions emphasized Marketing Green Power to
Business Customers, Environmental Drivers for Green Power, Strategies
for Increasing Awareness, Policies and Standards to Support Green Power
Markets, and Strategies for Expanding Access. Day 3 sessions addressed
Targeting Green Power Customers, Utility Green Pricing Programs, and
Green Power Marketing Strategies.
ResultsThe conference highlighted the following themes and messages:
• Green power markets continue to expand in the United States.
Green power is now available from nearly 400 retail providers in 40
states plus the District of Columbia, and green power markets support
more than 1000 MW of new renewable energy capacity nationwide.
• Increasingly, energy market observers view green power markets
as important to the future expansion of the renewable energy industry.
While a primary deployment driver is the establishment of renewables
portfolio standards at the state level, the trend of rising energy
prices, particularly for natural gas, is improving the competitive
market position of renewable energy projects. The success of voluntary
purchase markets also provides policymakers with clear evidence of
public support for renewable energy development.
• Green power programs are providing utilities with valuable
experience concerning the development and operation of renewable energy
projects, paving the way, in some instances, for utilities to procure
additional renewable energy resources on behalf of all customers.
• In a period of rising fossil fuel prices, fixed-price renewable
energy generation can provide "hedge value" benefits for customers, or
additional revenue to renewable energy generators that can reduce green
power premiums. However, few utilities or marketers include price
stability benefits as a feature of their green power products.
• The use of renewable energy certificates (RECs) is becoming more
prevalent in green power markets. However, rules and regulations to
govern REC sales are still being considered, including issues of
attributes ownership, the interaction of voluntary and compliance
markets, and the relationship of RECs to emissions trading markets.
• Businesses, government, and other institutional customers
continue to announce major green power purchases. Through these
purchases, larger customers are realizing such values as public
relations and earned media, hedging against fossil fuel price
volatility and escalation, product and brand differentiation, and
strengthening customer and other stakeholder relations.
EPRI PerspectiveA large gap continues to exist between expressed consumer willingness
to pay for renewable energy and customer participation in green power
programs. This conference offered a number of strategies for closing
the gap, including building greater awareness of green power products
through mass marketing and advertising and developing communication
strategies targeting the renewables market. Previous national green
power conferences are documented in EPRI reports TR-109179, TR-112315,
TR-114878, 1004649, 1004043, and 1004318.
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