August 31, 2005, Nick Morton
Native Energy runs a program called WindBuilders, which supports new wind-power generation facilities buy purchasing up-front all the Green Tags a facility is expected to generate over its lifetime. Doing so ensures the facility has enough money to get up and running, offsetting risks associated with market forces (as mentioned in the previous post).
Native Energy raises money by soliciting contributions from individuals to buy Green Tags via monthly payments. The Green Tags are then donated on behalf of the individuals to the non-profit Clean Air-Cool Planet, which retires the Green Tags and provides the individuals some tax-deduction benefits.
Another program is the Seattle Green Power program run by Seattle City Light. Residential customers can choose to pay an additional $3, $7, or $10 a month above their regular energy rate, with the funds supporting local power generation, community education, and construction of renewable resources such as wind power generation. However, this program does not involve Green Tags -- customers simply pay the premium.
If people are willing to pay (.pdf) a premium to construct new green power generation facilities, even without a Green Tags scheme, perhaps opportunity exists to create a similar scheme which assists the fuel poor. As the concept of negawatts illustrated, efficiency improvements are also effective in reducing CO2 emissions.
CATEGORY: ENERGY PROJECT