Friday, October 5, 2007

Renewable Energy Shortage?

There's one on the way, according to an article in (see excerpt below):
Demand for renewable energy is outstripping supply, pushing up prices and raising the specter that some states may not meet clean-energy mandates.
Behind the shortage are the growing number of states requiring utilities to include clean energy in their power mix as well as surging demand from big businesses.
By 2010, clean-energy demand will outpace generation by at least 37 percent unless a rush of projects is built, says a report due out next week from the National Renewable Energy Lab.
Under laws in 25 states, clean energy - such as wind, solar and biomass - must comprise up to 30 percent of a utility's energy portfolio in five to 15 years. In 2003, just 10 states had such requirements. Also, growing concerns about power plants' global-warming emissions have led consumers and businesses to boost clean-energy purchases by 46 percent a year since 2003.
Much of that is fueled by corporations, which have increased their green power purchases twenty-fivefold since 2001, the Environmental Protection Agency says. "Demand is growing faster than people expected," says NREL senior analyst Lori Bird.
Utilities and customers typically don't buy renewable energy itself. Rather, they buy renewable-energy credits - premiums above standard electric prices that subsidize a generator for each kilowatt hour of power it produces. Consumers, for instance, can pay up to $10 extra on their monthly utility bill or buy credits online.
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