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US Clean Energy Sales Exceed 6 Billion kWh in 2009

May 26, 2010
Renewable energy sales in the US surpassed 6 Billion kWh in 2009 on the back of low price premium and several other factors.

According to the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), sales of utility renewable energy crossed 6 Billion kWh in 2009, with wind energy constituting two-thirds of the electricity produced from renewable energy programs running across the country, reported Power-Gen.

In terms of renewable energy sales in kWh per year, Texas-based Austin Energy recorded the highest amount of renewable energy sold in the US through its voluntary program. Portland General Electric, PacifiCorp, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, and Xcel Energy were the other companies rounding out the top five.

In a recent assessment of wind power conducted by NREL, it was found that the wind resources in the US are more than that estimated in the past. According to the new assessment, onshore wind resources in the country are capable to produce approx 37,000,000 Gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity per year, which is more than nine times the total electricity consumption in the US at present.

The primary reason for the increase in renewable energy sales in the country is the low price. Leading companies, including OG&E Company, Edmond Electric, Park Electric Cooperative, Avista Utilities and Arizona Public Service provide renewable energy at lowest price premiums, ranging between -0.17 cents/kWh and 0.80 cents/kWh.

According to the analysts at NREL, price premium paid by consumers for renewable power is continuously declining. Average net price premium for utility renewable power products has dropped to 1.75 cents/kWh in 2009 from 3.48 cents/kWh in 2000.

Besides this, financial incentives, public demand, energy diversity requirements, support from policy makers, technological advancements, air quality regulations, new commodity trading markets, like those for renewable energy credits, and deregulated electricity markets are the other growth drivers.

According to a Research Analyst at RNCOS, “The US green energy sector is lagging behind the other countries of the world despite the growth, as Europe and China are implementing policies to promote the growth of clean energy market while companies in the US are concentrating on their efforts overseas. As a result, jobs and opportunities in the US are depleting. So the country needs to plan out new clean energy policies and investment initiatives so as to drive its clean energy market towards a lucrative future.”

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