NREL Reports Growth in Utility Green Power Sales in 2004

April 20, 2005

An increasing number of U.S. electric utilities are selling greater amounts of green power to their customers, causing the total utility sales of green power to increase to 1.9 billion kilowatt-hours in 2004, according to the DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Austin Energy, the nation's leader in total green power sales for three years running, saw an increase in green power sales of more than 15 percent, exceeding 334 million kilowatt-hours in 2004. NREL's annual "top ten" lists of utility green power programs shows many of the same leaders as in 2003, although the lists now include renewable energy sales from utilities in competitive electricity markets, which were formerly excluded. According to NREL, nearly 600 utilities in 34 states now offer green power to their customers as a voluntary option at a premium price. Several large utilities have also lowered their premiums, making green power increasingly affordable, according to NREL. See the NREL press release and "top ten" lists.

Here's another sign of the maturing green power market: the Tenth National Green Power Marketing Conference will be held in late October in Austin, Texas, accompanied by the Fifth Annual Green Power Leadership Awards. The first conference (actually more of a workshop) was held just over nine years ago. DOE, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Center for Resource Solutions are organizing this year's conference, which carries an appropriate theme: "A Decade of Marketing: Best Practices, Programs and Policies." See the conference Web site.