International green power marketing activity is on the rise as it is in the United States. A variety of countries have developed green marketing and green pricing schemes to boost renewable energy electric generation. This section provides links to additional information and past news stories on activity in international markets.
February 2001—According to the Sustainable Energy Development Authority, the administrator of the Australian National Green Power Accreditation Program, currently 15 green power marketers are accredited and offering 17 green power products to retail customers throughout Australia (see SEDA's list of green power marketers). Typically, marketers offer customers the option of purchasing 50% or 100% of their power from renewable sources, with a few companies offering smaller purchase options, such as 10% or 25%. Starting in 2001, accredited products must be comprised of 70% new renewables. Most residential products are priced 2 to 3 cents per kWh (~1 to 1.6¢/kWh US) above standard electricity rates. Products are also typically available to business customers at negotiated quantities and rates. About 60,000 (or less than 1%) residential customers and about 2,000 business customers were purchasing green power as of October 2000. Businesses have contributed significantly to green power demand, with purchases representing nearly 50% of all green power sales.
The National Green Power Accreditation Program was established in May 2000 to increase demand for green power and to boost consumer confidence in green power products. It is an outgrowth of the nation's first accreditation program created by Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) in New South Wales in 1997.
More Information - List of Green Power Program Facts and Figures
More Information - List of Green Power Suppliers
Program Details - National Green Power Accreditation Document
(PDF 266 KB)
December 1999—Ergon Energy, a retail electricity provider serving more than 500,000 customers in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory, is offering customers a green power option, called Clean Energy. In May 1999, the company began offering a renewable energy blend consisting of primarily biomass resources mixed with wind and solar at a premium of 2¢/kWh (1.3¢ US). As of December 1999, Ergon reports that 1100 customers are purchasing green power.
For its renewable energy blend, Ergon purchases power generated from sugarcane waste, or bagasse, from a number of sugar mills along the Queensland Coast. In addition, Ergon purchases power from 9 wind turbines in Stanwell Corporation's Windy Hill project and wind and solar power from Coconut Island projects. Recently, Ergon received accreditation from Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA), Australia's green power accrediting agency, to add power from a 450-kW wind project installed in 1997 at Thursday Island to its Clean Energy renewable energy mix.
News Release - Thursday Island Wind Gets Approval from the Environment - No longer online at www.ergon.com.au
News Release - Ergon Energy Announces Wind Farm Agreement with Stanwell Corporation - No longer online at www.ergon.com.au
News Release - Ergon Energy Committed To Green Power Cause - No longer online at www.ergon.com.au
May 1999 United Energy, the retail electricity supplier serving more than half a million customers throughout Melbourne's south eastern suburbs and the Mornington Peninsula, now offers its 520,000 customers a renewable energy option, called United Energy Green. Participants can elect to pay a premium of 3¢/kWh (2¢ US) for the energy which is generated from landfill gas methane. United Energy Green received accreditation from the Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) in May 1999. United Energy is exploring adding solar or wave power to the renewable energy product mix.
February 1999—EarthWatts, a small Sydney-based professional energy services company, maintains a comprehensive list of utility green power offerings in Australia.
February 1999—"Green Power in Australia" by Carrie L Sonneborn, Murdoch University and Dr Stewart Russell, University of Wollongong with Colin Crawford-Smith, GreenPower Services. The article gives a perspective on the 11 existing, plus 5 announced, green power programs in Australia today. Full report will be available at ACRE Occasional Papers.
September 1998—The Australian Consumers' Association (ACA) has launched an Internet-based site to make it easy for Australian consumers to choose green power. The ACA estimates that 26,000 Australian consumers have already opted for a green power service. Using the site, consumers can sign up for a green power service with their existing supplier or "be shown how they can lobby their retailer to deliver the choice of green power." The site also contains a comprehensive listing of green power product offerings in Australia.
News Release - Green Power to the People: Internet Campaign Against Global Warming - No longer online at www.choice.com.au
ACA Contact: Anna Salleh (02) 9577 3375
August 1998—About 7,000 customers of Integral Energy, an energy service provider in New South Wales, Australia, have donated money to a green power program designed to provide solar power (as well as a few wind and microhydropower systems) for schools. The first PV system under the Community GreenPower Program was installed in January of 1998; a total of ten systems were installed byJuly. Customers contribute by rounding up bill payments or through a set amount added to their regular bills.
April 1998—EnergyAustralia recently announced plans to expand its new 200 kW solar power station to 400 kW within the next few months. The expansion is a result of customer participation in the Pure Energy Program, in which customers can purchase 25%, 50%, 75%, or 100% of their power from renewable resources at a price premium. The company reports that a growing number of the 6,000 participants in the Pure Energy Program are choosing the 100% renewables option, which adds approximately $5 per month to their electric bill.
News Release - Singleton Solar Farm A Major Boost To Renewable Energy Industry - No longer online at www.energy.com.au
EnergyAustralia Contact: Sonali Paul 61-3 9286-1419
February 1998—"Green Power Down Under," by M Ellis and C Crawford-Smith, GreenPower Services, Australia, CADDET Renewable Energy Newsletter, February 1998
October 1997—EnergyAustralia, a SEDA-accredited power retailer, has announced plans to build a 200 kW solar farm in New South Wales beginning in October. The project is expected to begin operation in November. Also planned is a 600 kW wind turbine with installation scheduled to begin this fall. The projects will be built to supply power for the Pure Energy program in which customers pay a premium of approximately 35% to purchase all their power from renewable energy sources.
EnergyAustralia Contact: Sonali Paul 61-3 9286-1419
August 1997—The Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) in New South Wales, Australia, launched the Green Power Accreditation Program in April 1997. The program goal is to facilitate the installation of new renewable energy projects in New South Wales by increasing consumer confidence in green power schemes developed by electricity retailers. SEDA aims to promote the successful market entry and penetration of green power producers and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as a result.
"SEDA's Green Power Accreditation Program is geared to maximize the credibility of Green Power Schemes and to minimize the potential for confusion in the marketplace by providing consumers with a basis of product understanding and trust." The program is a "fitness test" for green power offerings, and those suppliers that meet the program criteria earn the right to use the SEDA Green Power logo, assuring customers that contributions are used as expected.
SEDA provides green power suppliers with promotional packages to distribute to customers and sponsors joint promotional events and seminars, along with a variety of other products and services as part of the public education and information campaign.
To date, eight power retailers have been accredited under SEDA's program. Refer to SEDA's Green Power Accreditation Program piece for discussion of accreditation criteria. For further program information, refer to the following sources of information:
News Release - NSW Govt Launches World's Biggest Green Electricity Scheme - No longer online at SEDA
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May 2001—Cambridge and North Dumfries Hydro, a municipal utility owned by the City of Cambridge and the Township of North Dumfries in Ontario, offers its customers a 100% renewable energy option called EarthWise Clean Power. Power for the product is supplied from sources such as small hydro, wind, biomass, or solar. Currently, most of the power comes from low-flow hydro sites across Ontario, with a portion supplied from the Bruce windmill farm near Tiverton and a landfill gas project in Waterloo. Residential customers can purchase the power for an extra C0.84¢/kWh (US0.55¢/kWh) over the utility's standard rate of C6.87¢/kWh (US4.5¢/kWh). Business customers can also purchase Earth Wise energy at varying rates, depending on the size of the business. The program is certified by the national Environmental Choice Program.
News Article - Cambridge First to Offer "Green" Power - No longer online at camhydro.com
News Article - Hydro commission touts "clean" power - No longer online at camhydro.com
Utility Contact: Glen Wood (519) 621-8405 Ext. 2639
May 2001—EPCOR Energy Services, an Alberta-based electric utility that serves over 270,000 customers in Edmonton, began offering its EcoPack green power product in July 1999. Under the program, customers can choose to purchase 10, 20, 41, or 100 percent of their power from renewable sources. The 10% option is offered for an extra C$5 (US$3.2) per month, while the 100% option is an extra C$40 (US$26), which translates to a premium of about C7¢/kWh (US5¢/kWh) for the average consumer using 550-kWh per month. Power for the program is supplied from a biomass facility that burns waste wood from sawmills, a run-of-the river hydro facility, and a 13 kW solar photovoltaic system. In addition, EPCOR recently signed a 10-year contract to purchase the output of a 750-kW wind turbine to be installed on the Peigan Indian Reservation in southern Alberta. Once completed, the project will supply more than half of the power for the program. EPCOR's EcoPack product is certified by the Environmental Choice Program. As of September 2000, more than 2,900 customers were participating in the program.
News Release - EPCOR Invests in the Power of the Wind - No longer online at epcor-group.com
News Release - Green Power Celebrates Successful First Year By Adding Hydroelectric Power - No longer online at epcor-group.com
April 2001—Committing to its largest green power purchase to date, the Government of Canada announced plans to purchase electricity from an 11-MW wind power project planned for Saskatchewan. Under the agreement, SaskPower, a public utility serving about 425,000 Saskatchewan customers, will purchase the output of the 17-turbine Sunbridge wind power project and supply the power to federal government buildings in the Province and other customers starting next year. The project is the first large-scale wind project planned for Saskatchewan and is expected to be operational by June 2002.
News Release - Saskatchewan's First Large-Scale Wind Power Project Planned For Gull Lake
SaskPower Contact: Larry Christie (306) 566-3167
March 2001—Ontario Power Generation (OPG) announced plans to create a new renewable energy division and to increase its green energy portfolio to 500 megawatts (MW). The new division, OPG Evergreen Energy, will develop and supply power from wind, biomass, small hydro and solar technologies. Another division, OPG-Energy Markets, will market the green power. OPG's current green energy portfolio consists of about 138 MW of renewable energy capacity, most of which comes from 29 small hydro plants that are certified as renewable energy sources. The company also operates a 0.6 MW wind turbine near the Bruce nuclear facility.
News Release - Ontario Power Generation Creates "Evergreen Energy"
March 2001—Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and British Energy (Canada) announced plans to develop a wind energy facility near Kincardine, Ontario. OPG plans to market the green power to customers in Ontario when the market opens to competition. While the total output of the wind farm has not been determined, at least 10 MW will be installed in the first stage of development. The project will be located near the Bruce nuclear facility on Lake Huron, where OPG has operated a 600 kW wind turbine since 1995. The first phase of the project is expected to be operational by early 2002.
News Release - Ontario Power Generation And British Energy (Canada) Ltd Develop Wind Farm: Joint Venture to Provide Green Power
News Release - Canadian Wind Power Joint Venture Additional
July 2000—The Pembina Institute, a citizen-based organization devoted to environmental education and sustainable policy development, issued a report outlining green power guidelines for Canada to provide consumers with a "clear understanding of what is meant by environmentally sound source[s] of electricity." The report reviews current definitions of green power under various eco-labeling schemes, identifies characteristics of environmentally sound sources of electricity, and establishes criteria for defining green power. According to the Pembina Institute's definition, green power is "electricity that meets today's best overall environmental performance standards, is renewable over many centuries, and protects the environment significantly better than the current mix of available technologies."
News Release - Pembina Institute Releases Green Power Guidelines - No longer online at pembina.org
Full Report - Pembina Institute Green Power Guidelines for Canada
May 2000—ENMAX, a municipal utility serving 325,000 customers in Calgary, recently signed a contract to secure an additional 30,000 MWh of electricity for its green power program, Greenmax. Under the agreement, wind developer Vision Quest Windelectric Inc. will construct 16, 660-kW wind turbines by October of this year. The company plans to install the first two turbines near Pincher Creek and Hillspring, Alberta in June and another 14 turbines near Pincher Creek in the fall.
In April, Enmax modified its Greenmax program to allow customers the option of paying a monthly premium of $5, $10 or $15 to purchase wind power for a fraction of their electricity needs. A customer with average monthly energy consumption paying $15 per month under the program would receive about 45% of his/her power from wind resources.
News Release - Enmax Buys a Decades' Worth of Wind: ENMAX Buys Wind-Generated Power to Support Greenmax Program (5/25/2000)
News Release - Greenmax Offers Flexible Options to Purchase Wind-Generated Energy (4/19/2000)
Enmax Contact: Sean Durfy (403) 268-1898
November 1999—Ontario Power Generation, a wholesale supplier of electricity which supplies 85% of the electricity used in Ontario, announced plans to increase its portfolio of green energy based on expectations that the demand for environmentally friendly power will double in the next five years as deregulation takes effect. The company plans to spend $5 million in 2000 to increase its renewable resource capacity—the company currently has 125 MW of renewable resources, including 25 hydroelectric plants that are EcoLogo certified by Environment Canada's Environmental Choice Program.
News Release - Ontario Power Generation To Improve its 'Green Energy' Offerings - No longer online at www.opg.com
July 1999—On June 30, Toronto Hydro, which distributes 25 percent of the electricity in Ontario, announced that it is now offering residents of Canada's largest city the option to choose green power for their electricity needs. The utility, in conjunction with the Toronto Renewable Energy Cooperative, plans to build two large wind turbines on the Toronto waterfront next year. The turbines will be the first to be built in an urban, downtown area in North America. Each turbine will generate 1400 megawatt-hours of electricity — enough to power 250-300 typical households annually. Environment Canada has committed to spend C$98,500 to purchase wind power for its Toronto offices and laboratories. In addition, the Canadian government has agreed to pay the Toronto Renewable Energy Cooperative C$330,000 to help offset the cost of one of the C$1.2 million turbines, as part of its climate change program.
News Release - Government of Canada Supports Toronto's Green Power Turbine Project to Help Reduce Greenhouse Gas and Improve Air Quality
Toronto Hydro Contact: Joyce McLean (416) 591-4686
May 1999—Ontario Hydro Services Company, which holds the transmission and retail energy services businesses formerly held by Ontario Hydro, has offered Green Choice brand renewable energy to customers at a premium of 3-4 cent/kWh since July 1998. The company reports that during 1998 it sold over 600 MWh of its Green Choice product, which is EcoLogo certified by Environment Canada's Environmental Choice Program.
April 1999—Enmax, the electric utility serving about 300,000 customers in and around Calgary, reports that it has signed up more than 1,000 customers for its green power offering, Greenmax. Last November, Enmax contracted with Vision Quest, a renewable power provider, to install two more wind turbines to meet customer demand for green power after fully subscribing the power from the initial two turbines. Greenmax has been given the EcoLogo, indicating that it is certified under Environment Canada's Environmental ChoiceTM program.
News Release - New Vision Quest Wind Power Plants Begin Operation (November 12, 1998)
ENMAX Contact: Becky Scott (403) 268-1176
December 1997—On November 18, Ontario Hydro announced the first participant in its new 'Clear Choice' green energy pilot program. Through this pilot, business and institutional customers will be able purchase all or a portion of their electricity from wind, solar, landfill gas, and small hydro generation. Participants will receive emission reduction credits related to their support and will be entitled to use the Eco-Logo trademark that certifies 'Clear Choice' projects as "green." The first pilot participant will purchase 25% of its power from a 1-MW, run-of-the-river hydro project built specifically to provide power for the pilot. The green power premium is 4.0¢/kWh, but Ontario Hydro may adjust the premium as the pilot evolves.
Ontario Hydro Contact: Bob McRae (416) 506-3472
October 1997—On October 1, ENMAX, formerly the City of Calgary Electric System, announced that it will purchase over 3 million kWh of wind energy from Vision Quest Windelectric Inc., a Canadian energy developer. Vision Quest will provide power to ENMAX from two 600-kW wind turbines installed in 1997. The company plans to install additional turbines as the market develops for its "Green Energy" product.
ENMAX Contact: Becky Scott (403) 268-1176
October 1997—Vision Quest Windelectric is a Canadian firm engaged in the world-wide marketing of green energy products derived from hydro and wind energy projects located in Canada. Currently, Vision Quest offers several green power products including Green Capacity, Emissions Offsets, Electrical Capacity, Electrical Energy, and Ancillary Electrical Services.
August 1997—The federal Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) selected the City of Calgary Electric System to participate in a pilot program to facilitate the development of green power that will be marketed to select federal buildings in Alberta. The Electric System will supply up to 10,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per year to NRCan and up to 3,100 megawatt-hours to Environment Canada over the next 10 years. Because the Electric System is still in negotiations with green power suppliers, the source of the renewable energy has not yet been decided. NRCan is currently working to expand federal procurement of green power and hopes this pilot will result in increased agency participation. For further program information, please refer to the following sources of information:
News Release - "Green Power Announcement Underlines Fed's Determination to Encourage RE Industry"
News Release - "McLellan Announces Federal Government Plans for Green Power Procurement"
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February 2000—Helsingfors Energi offers a voluntary, wind energy program, called Miljöpenni-el (translates to environment-penny), through which customers can pay 10 Finnish Mark each month (~2¢ US) for 1000-kWh of wind energy. The utility estimates that it has enough wind capacity to allow about 2,300 customers to participate in the program. If demand for wind power exceeds Helsingfors Energi's own production, the company will purchase wind power from other sources. The company also pledges to contribute 200,000 mark plus 20 mark for each subscriber to the wind energy program to an investment fund for renewable energy projects.
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March 2000—A new website, GreenPrices, provides independent information on green energy products in Europe.
January 2000—The Ökostrom Green Electricity web site contains a list of German green power marketers and a list of publications on European green power markets.
December 1999—RWE Energie AG and its distribution utilities began offering a new green power option on December 1, 1999. Avanza eco-power, which has been certified by the German Technical Inspection Board (TÜV), is a 100% renewable energy product generated from solar, hydro, wind or biomass resources. The company promises that at least 25% of the power is generated from new, renewable resources. Customers pay a total of 28.99 pfennigs/kWh for Avanza, a premium of 5 pfennigs/kWh over basic electric rates. RWE Energie only offers the Avanza eco-power option to residential customers at this time, but plans to expand the offering to other customers.
RWE Energie has been offering green power from hydro, solar and wind resources to customers since September 1996 through its eco-tariff. As of the beginning of 1999, the company reported that over 15,000 customers had subscribed to the green tariff, purchasing a total of 2.7 million kWh/year of green power. RWE Energie used the funds collected from the tariff and applied matching funds to build new renewable energy plants—the company has commissioned 30 renewable energy facilities (26 solar, 3 wind, 1 hydro) with a total capacity of 2.7 MW.
News Release - Residential customers can contribute actively to protecting the environment: RWE Energie offering Avanza eco-power with TÜV quality label - No longer online at rwe.com
October 1999—Unit Energy (formerly WRE AG) announced plans to provide green power throughout all of Germany starting in January 2000. Its subsidiary Unit Energy Stromvertrieb GMBH will begin offering green energy from hydro, wind, solar and biomass resources at a basic monthly fee of 18DM (US $9.10) plus 0.299 DM/kWh (US 15¢) for a family or 5 DM per month (US $2.50) plus 0.35DM/kWh (US 18¢) for an individual.
News Release - Unit energy stromvertrieb gmbh to offer Green Energy nation-wide in Germany - No longer online at unit-energy.com
Janaury 1999—German renewable energy firm WRE AG announced it would begin selling green power in England and Wales in April and expects to break into the German market this summer. WRE, Wasserkraft und Regenerative Energieentwicklung, is a Frankfurt-based renewable energy firm founded in 1996. The company announced that the British electricity regulator, OFFER, had given it the go-ahead to supply electricity to households using existing renewable resources. WRE will purchase solar, hydro, wind and biomass energy from a consortium of firms and offer its clean energy option to customers at a 10 percent premium.
July 1998—RWE Energie AG, which bills itself as Germany's largest utility, is allowing it's customers to choose renewable energy. Customers can participate in the company's green pricing program by volunteering to pay a surcharge, or "eco-tariff" of 0.20 DEM/kWh (11.4 ¢/kWh) for electricity generated by solar, wind, or small hydro resources. RWE, which has allocated $11.4 million to support the program, currently matches customer contributions. Since the program was announced in 1996, more than 15,000 customers have signed up. To meet this demand, RWE Energie has installed 25 photovoltaic systems, 2 wind turbines, and a small hydro facility.
RWE Energie Contact: Ulrich Beyer, (++49-201-1221380)
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May 2000—Airtricity, the first green power marketer to enter Ireland's newly competitive market, claims to have over 700 customers just three months after launching its wind power product. The company is marketing wind power to small and mid-sized businesses, a group that has traditionally paid relatively high costs for electricity, at a discount of 7-10% off default rates.
The company's first wind project, a three turbine 2-MW facility located along the coast in Gweedore began producing power for customers in early May. Airtricity plans to complete another 18 turbines (total capacity of 12 MW) in Cuillaigh by October of this year. The company also recently received approval to develop a third wind project in Slieve Rushen in Cavan.
In February 2000, 28% of Ireland's electricity market was opened to competition. Renewable energy providers are able to sell power to both business and residential customers, although other power marketers are only able to serve large business customers.
News Release - eirtricity Set to Expand with Third Wind Farm Approved - No longer online at airtricity.com/
News Release - eirtricity Signs Contract to Take Green Electricity from New Wind Farms in Donegal - No longer online at www.airtricity.com
News Article - New brand of environmentally friendly electricity launched
News Article - Power to the people - No longer online at Irish Independant
January 2000—The Electricity Supply Board (ESB), a Dublin-based electric utility serving 1.5 million customers, has announced its intention to introduce a green tariff for customers interested in supporting renewable energy. According to the company, "customers who opt for the tariff are guaranteed that there will be an extra unit of electricity generated from renewable energy for every unit of electricity purchased under the scheme."
News Release - Growth Prediction by ESB - The Leading Irish Company in Green Energy - No longer online at www.esb.ie
August 1997—Due to limited conventional energy supplies and growing energy demand, Ireland is pursuing programs to stimulate renewable energy production. Ireland's Renewable Energy Strategy inaugurated in 1996, calls for measures to boost renewables production, including allowing renewable energy producers access to the transmission system so they can sell green electricity directly to end users.
For further program information, refer to the following sources of information:
Renewable Energy in Ireland website
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June 2001—ERGA, a renewable energy company fully owned by the ENEL group, and APER, the association of renewable energy producers, have developed a "100% green energy label" (100% Energia Verde) in co-operation with environmental and consumers organizations. Producers are eligible to use the label if they can demonstrate that all of their electricity is generated from renewable sources. Consumers may also be granted permission to display the label if they purchase green power for all of their electricity needs. A committee comprised of representatives of environmental and consumer organizations will control and manage use of the label. Royalties will be applied to educational efforts to promote the use of renewables.
The label was developed in conjunction with environmental organizations WWF and Legambiente www.legambiente.org and consumers associations Adiconsum and Unione Nazionale Consumatori.
APER/ERGA Contact: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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April 2001—The Japan Natural Energy Company (JNEC) announced that it has signed contracts to supply wind power to 20 large Japanese companies, including Sony, Epson, Toyota, Tepco, Ricoh and Hitachi. Under the agreements, JNEC will provide green power certificates representing a total of 25 million kWh of wind power to the companies over a period of 15 years.
JNEC also announced that it plans to expand its marketing activities and has entered into agreements to purchase the output of 3 additional wind projects with a combined capacity of 23 MW.
News Release - First Contract under Green Power Certification System
JNEC Contact: Daisuke Makino
November 2000—The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) announced the creation of a new company that plans to sell green energy certificates to large commercial and industrial customers in Japan. The Japan Natural Energy Company (JNEC), a joint venture of TEPCO and 10 other companies, plans to develop wind and other renewable energy resources and sell certificates representing the environmental attributes of the power output to business customers. The certificates will be sold at a premium of 4 yen/kWh (~3.4¢/kWh US). In its first year, the company plans to make available about 20 GWh of green certificates and hopes to contract with some 20 companies.
News Release - "Japan Natural Energy Company Limited" Established - No longer online at Tepco
JNEC Contact: Daisuke Makino
October 2000—Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and the Greater-Kanto Industrial Advancement Center (GIAC) have teamed to offer customers the opportunity to contribute to a "Green Power Fund" to support the development of wind and solar systems. Under the program, customers can contribute 500 yen or more each month as an adder to their electricity bill. TEPCO will match customer contributions and assist in the administration of the program. The GIAC, a non-profit organization, will manage and operate the fund. Contributors will receive a "certificate of contribution" and an annual report detailing how the program funds have been used.
News Release - Establishment of "Green Power Fund": New fund programme to be introduced on 1st October 2000 aiming at supporting promotion of natural energy with donations from customers - No longer online at www.tepco.co.jp
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October 2000—Green Mountain Energy Company announced that Nuon, one of the largest electric utilities in the Netherlands and a green power provider, will invest up to $53.5 million in the company. Under the agreement, the two companies will "seek ways to develop new renewable energy generation facilities and explore future opportunities for extending the Green Mountain Energy brand to the European residential energy market." Nuon and BP Amoco, which earlier this year made a significant investment in Green Mountain, will each appoint one co-chair to Green Mountain's board of directors to succeed the current board chairman, Sam Wyly, who will remain an investor in the Company.
News Release - Nuon International to Invest up to $53.5 Million in Green Mountain Energy Company - No longer online at greenmountain.com
March 2000—A new website, GreenPrices, provides independent information on green energy products in Europe.
December 1999—PNEM-MEGA Groep currently offers to its customers two renewable energy options, Groene Stroom (Green Power) and Ecostroom (Ecopower). PNEM-MEGA Groep's supply companies, PNEM Energieverkoop and MEGALIMBURG, provide 100kWh to over 40,000 customers. The company hopes to "achieve a 25% market share in both the production and marketing of sustainable energy by 2000." PNEM-MEGA's green power mix includes wind, biomass, solar, and hydro. The company has 5 wind parks with a total capacity of 24 MW, 12 bio-energy facilities (including landfill gas, wood gasification and clean wood) with a total capacity of 30 MW, and 4 hydroelectric plants with a total capacity of 26 MW.
April 1999—According to the April issue of Wind Power Monthly, the municipal electric utility for the Dutch City of Eindhoven, Nutsbedrijf Region Eindhoven (NRE), reports that about 65,000 customers, or about 9% of its residential customers, have signed up to pay extra to support renewable energy development. The utility now plans to target its marketing efforts to larger commercial and industrial customers.
December 1998—Dutch utility PNEM-MEGA Group, which serves the Brabant and Limburg regions, reports that 40,500 customers subscribed to its sustainable energy program, consuming over 100 kilowatt-hours of green power as of December 1998. The green power is generated from renewable resources including wind, hydropower, landfill gas and other biomass resources. The company offers the green power at a premium of 2.5 cents per kilowatt-hour (1.2¢/kWh U.S.); however, the premium will decrease starting January 1999 when an energy tax takes effect. The company first began offering green power at a premium in 1995.
News Release -PNEM/MEGA Green Energy sales reach 100 million kWh - No longer online at pmgroep.com
August 1997—Two major Dutch energy distributors, PNEM and EDON, have developed and are expanding green pricing schemes designed to stimulate renewable energy production. PNEM launched its program in 1995 and had attracted 7700 customers by the end of 1996, accounting for 33,000 megawatt-hours of green electricity. The utility has set a new goal of 100,000 green users by 2000. All green power is currently supplied by wind energy, but the utility is constructing two wood-fired projects to be brought on-line in late 1998 or early 1999. Customers pay a premium of approximately 20% over regular electric rates.
Meanwhile, EDON is aiming to gain 12,000 green customers by the end of 1997, increasing the current 180,000 megawatt-hours of green energy being produced. To date, EDON's renewable resources include solar electric and biomass projects. EDON customers can purchase 25%, 50%, 75%, or 100% of their electricity from renewable resources.
In the Netherlands, the cost of conventional electricity is rising due to increased fuel costs and an energy eco-tax, causing the difference between the cost of conventional electricity and renewables generation to shrink. This difference may shrink even more due to the lower value added tax (VAT) proposed for green energy, bolstering the attractiveness of green pricing schemes.
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June 2001—TrustPower, an investor-owned utility serving retail customers in 10 regions of New Zealand, offers a green power program through which customers can contribute $2 each week ($8/month) to support the development of new wind resources. Trustpower hopes to add another 55, 660-kW turbines to its 32-MW Tararua Wind Farm, which currently generates enough power to supply about 16,000 homes. Customers were able to sign up for the program through May 31, 2001.
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October 1997—The Norwegian Nature Conservation Society is urging the development of a common environmental labeling system for green electricity to be modeled after its counterpart in Sweden. Some oppose the scheme due to the fact that the majority of electricity comes from hydro.
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February 2000—Falkenberg Energi AB offers a green power program that allows customers the option to invest in a wind project and then purchase the wind power at a reduced rate. Under the program, customers that make an initial investment of SKR 4,000 (~$500 US) to purchase 1,000 kWh of wind power each year at 22.5 ore/kWh (~2.8¢ US), compared to about 40 ore/kWh, the market price of electricity as of late 1999. Participants can pay the initial fee to purchase rights to additional 1,000 kWh blocks up to their total current consumption. The investment in the wind project pays a return to the consumer based on the market price for electricity — in 1999 the return was 6.4%. Falkenberg Energi AB began offering the program in the fall of 1998.
October 1997—Many Swedish utilities are becoming involved in green power schemes despite initial criticism of the concept. They see a surprising increase in customer demand, especially from commercial and industrial customers who want to be able to market themselves based on their environmental-friendliness.
In order to substantiate utilities' green claims, the Swedish Society for the Preservation of Nature launched a green power certification program which serves to evaluate environmental claims made by power suppliers. A logo is used to denote those products that have been approved and certified. The criteria for certification require that the green electricity be produced by older hydro plants, windpower, or biofuels. Nuclear, peat, and the burning of waste do not meet the criteria. The society does stipulate that up to 10% of non-green fuel sources can be used if the environmentally-preferable power is temporarily unavailable.
To date, six utilities have been certified and another 20 utilities have expressed interest in becoming certified. The Swedish power board, Vattenfall, is seeking approval for its green product which it will sell at a 10-12% premium. Vattenfall also plans to market wind power from six wind turbines it will construct this winter in southern Sweden.
Another approach to green power being used in Sweden is the voluntary contribution program. In one city, consumers can choose to pay $0.0015/kWh to contribute to a fund for green electricity research and development. Vattenfall is also offering a voluntary contribution program to both residential and commercial customers which is used to fund emission reductions and renewable energy plant construction.
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January 2000—The Ökostrom Green Electricity web site contains a list of Swiss green power marketers and products. The site also contains a list of publications on green electricity offerings in Switzerland and green power labeling programs.
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September 2001—Green Energy (UK) recently began offering two green electricity products to residential and small business customers in England and Wales. Customers can choose from Green Energy 10, a 10% green electricity product offered at the same cost as default electricity, or Green Energy 100, a premium-priced product supplied exclusively from renewable sources. Green Energy (UK) promises to obtain power from renewable sources located in Britain, such as wind, solar, wave and tidal, hydro, biomass (including landfill gas), and combined heat and power. It also plans to re-invest up to 50% of its profits back into UK renewable electricity generation projects.
October 2000—ScottishPower announced that it has completed construction of a 13-MW merchant wind farm in Hare Hill, Scotland. It is the first such project to be constructed without financial incentives. ScottishPower plans to sell the power, which can supply about 10,000 homes, in the open market to satisfy consumer demand for green power. According to the company, the project is expected to benefit from a small price premium to be created by government policies such as the Climate Change Levy and a Supplier Obligation requiring electricity retailers to supply 10% of electricity from renewables by 2010.
ScottishPower also plans to construct a 30-MW wind project in Kintyready. Over the next 10 years, the company plans to increase its wind power capacity from 100MW to 500MW.
News Release - Green Energy Comes of Age as Scottishpower Switches on the UK's First Unsubsidised Windfarm - No longer online at scottishpower.com
October 2000—The Royal Society of the Protection of Birds (RSPB), the largest wildlife conservation charity in Europe with more than 1,000,000 members, has teamed with Scottish and Southern Energy to offer a green power option to UK customers. RSPB Energy is generated from hydro, wind, and waste-to-energy plants and sold to customers at default rates (no price premium). The RSPB currently receives £10 for each household that switches to the green power product and £5 each year thereafter that the customer continues to purchase RSPB Energy. Under the original agreement announced in November 1999, the RSPB received £20 and £10, respectively. The money is used to purchase and manage land for nature reserves and to develop a fund to support future renewable energy projects. The fund is jointly managed by Scottish and Southern Energy and RSPB.
News Release - Why pay the earth for green energy? RSPB energy scheme saves wildlife and money - No longer online at RSPB
News Release - Why Pay the Earth For Green Energy? - No longer online at Scottish and Southern Energy
September 2000—According to an article in Wind Power Monthly, Rotherham Council in South Yorkshire became the first local government organization to purchase green power for all of its electricity needs. Rotherham is purchasing the power from Yorkshire Electricity and will initially pay 8% more. However, in April 2001, the Climate Change Levy, a new tax on energy purchases by non-residential customers, will take effect and reduce the cost of the green power purchase. Once the levy is in effect, Rotherham expects to save about 47,000 pounds a year.
July 2000-According to a report released by Datamonitor in July 2000, 55% of UK households were willing to pay a premium for green energy. The amount of the premium varied with income and other factors, but the vast majority of respondents stated that they would be willing to spend up to 2% more than the cost of conventional electricity. Consumers in higher income brackets were willing to pay more and, in some cases, up to a 10% premium. More than 25% said they would be more likely to switch to an alternative supplier if they were offered a green power option—ranking it above other incentives such as airline miles, gifts, and supermarket loyalty points. Datamonitor also surveyed UK utilities and found that 10,800 UK customers are currently purchasing green power. Based on discussions with utility executives, Datamonitor predicts that by 2005 as many as 250,000 UK customers will be purchasing green power and that all UK electricity suppliers will be offering residential consumers a green power option. Datamonitor expects that 35% of these customers will choose a green offering from their existing supplier, while 15% will switch to a green tariff offered by another traditional utility and 50% will switch to a "pure green energy supplier" (one that markets only 100% green energy).
News Release - Over half of UK households willing to pay a premium for Green Energy - No longer online at www.datamonitor.com
April 2000—Greenergy Carbon Partners announced in April 2000 a new customized, green power product offering for UK businesses called Carbon-Certified Electricity. It is a blended electricity product designed to allow businesses to manage their carbon emissions. Greenergy blends nearly 50 types of electricity including low carbon footprint renewable sources, medium sources, such as natural gas, and higher footprint sources, such as coal and oil, to allow customers to achieve their desired carbon emissions targets. The CO2 emissions associated with Carbon-Certified Electricity are certified on a monthly, annual, or per kilowatt-hour basis. Greenergy ensures that it can provide an accurate statement about the amount of CO2 being emitted at any time.
News Release - UK Leads World In Switch To Carbon-Certified® Electricity (see News/News Archive/April 2000 http://www.greenergy.com/)
December 1999—Unit Energy Europe AG announced that after only three months of marketing to customers in England and Wales, 2,000 customers have signed up for its green energy product, called unit[e]. Unit[e], which is generated exclusively from wind and hydro power, is sold to customers at a premium of 3 pounds per month (US $4.92). The product has been certified by the government-supported accreditation organization, Future Energy Trust. Unit Energy now plans to begin marketing its green power product to businesses and public institutions.
News Release - Unit Energy Europe AG Going into the New Millennium With 2,000 Customers in England and Wales - No longer online at home.unit-energy.com
December 1999—Friends of the Earth reports that there are currently 15 companies offering or planning to offer green power in the UK at premiums ranging from 15-25 pounds per year (US $24-40). Friends of the Earth maintain a complete list and evaluation of the programs on their web site.
July 1999—Energy Saving Trust (EST), an independent non-profit organization historically dedicated to energy efficiency issues, has developed an accreditation program for utility green power offerings in the United Kingdom. The Future Energy accreditation program, which has been developed with funding from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), is designed to protect consumers by ensuring that electricity suppliers offer fair and reasonable renewable energy products. The program requires accredited green power suppliers to submit to annual, independent audits to verify that green power premiums are being used to purchase qualifying renewable energy resources. Under the Future Energy program, qualifying renewable resources are defined as solar, wind, hydro, energy from crops and energy from waste (including Combined Heat and Power plants powered by renewable sources). Both types of green power programs that are currently being offered by UK suppliers — contribution-based programs and those based on electricity purchases — are eligible for accreditation. Companies that offer green power products meeting all of the EST's criteria will be able to use the Future Energy logo on promotional materials. As of July 1999, 11 electric power suppliers had accredited green power offerings.
June 1999—Yorkshire Electricity, a utility serving the central UK region between London and Edinburgh, is offering its customers the option to purchase electricity generated from clean, renewable resources. Customers can volunteer to participate in Yorshire's Green Electricity Program and pay an extra 8% above the standard rate of 6.63p per kilowatt-hour (a premium of 0.53p/kWh or about 0.83¢/kWh) for power generated from renewable resources. The green power is generated from a biomass station near Scunthorpe and from local wind farms on Ovenden and Royd Moo.
News Release - Yorkshire Electricity Gives Businesses the Green Light (June 30, 1999)
May 1999—According to an article in the May issue of Wind Power Monthly, Northern Electric and Gas announced that it will offer customers the option to support renewable resources through their electricity purchases. Customers will be given the option to pay a 5% premium on their electricity bill to support either small-scale renewable energy projects or forestry projects. Contributions will be rolled into an "eco-fund" and contributors will be able to determine how their donation will be spent.
April 1999— The Eastern Group announced the first round of renewable energy projects funded through voluntary contributions to its EcoPower Trust Program, which allows customers to pay an extra 5% or 10% on their electricity bill to support the development of renewable energy resources. The company plans to provide £3,500 to help fund the installation of photovoltaic panels on the roof of the Brill Church of England Primary School near Oxford. In addition, about £2,500 will be used to help offset the costs of installing a wind turbine at Carter's Vineyards near Colchester in Essex. Decisions on how to spend the funds are made by a board of trustees, which includes representatives of major environmental bodies such as Friends of the Earth and Forum for the Future. The Eastern Group matches every dollar donated to the trust.
March 1999—Thames Water, a water and sewerage company serving about 12 million customers in London and the Thames Valley, announced that it has formed a joint venture with the Renewable Energy Company, a green power supplier, to offer green power, or "Ecotricity," to businesses in the UK. The companies plan to generate 60MW of green power, with Thames water supplying about 24MW from burning sewage sludge and methane at 22 sewage treatment works throughout the Thames region.
October 1998—In it's annual Environment Report, Eastern Group, the holding company for Eastern Electricity, announced its interest in extending its green electricity pricing scheme, EcoPower, across the UK. The Environment Report re-affirms Eastern's long-term goal to generate 10% of its electricity from renewable sources and a further 10% of its generation capacity from Combined Heat and Power (CHP), both by the year 2010.
December 1997—On October 23, Eastern Electricity, one of the largest suppliers and distributors of power in Great Britain, launched a "green" scheme by which 3 million of its customers can elect to pay a 5% or 10% premium under the "EcoPower" and "EcoPower plus" tariffs to support the development of renewable energy generation. The money will be put into a fund set up to support research and development of renewable technologies. The utility will match customer contributions pound-for-pound up to one million pounds (approximately $1.7 million U.S.) over the next two years.
Eastern Electricity: +44(1)1473-688688
August 1997—As announced at the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) conference this year, various regional electricity companies (RECs) have announced intentions of introducing green pricing programs in early 1998. Consumers would be able to purchase environmentally friendly power from renewable energy sources such as wind and methane for a premium of approximately 10%. The WWF is looking to "inspect and sanction such schemes to ensure customers' green power needs are properly satisfied." RECs are now pursuing this type of program because their local monopoly of electricity service ends in April 1998.
July 1997—In Great Britain, Southwest Electricity Plc. (SWEB) will soon offer a "green electron" program to small business and residential customers at a 10% premium. The offering follows a pilot program in which SWEB provided renewable power to one of its largest customers, Strout District Council; the customer eventually switched to a cheaper renewable power supplier after the nine-month trial.
SWEB was one of the first regional electricity companies to get involved in renewable generation with a wind farm in Cornwall. It hopes to provide green electricity from a spectrum of technologies, including landfill gas, chicken litter plants, solar power, and waste incineration.
Eastern Electricity plans to launch a green tariff in October, which will be open first to residential customers and later to larger industrial customers.
It is estimated that only 2% of Britain's electricity supply comes from renewable sources. More than half of these sources are subsidized by the Non-Fossil Fuel Obligation, which is funded by a tax on fossil fuels. — Condensed from a news story by Reuters America, Inc. June 16, 1997.
For further program information, see the SWEB Green Electron website.
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