Saturday, March 30, 2013

Renewable Energy – Creative Funding To Make It Possible

Industry News

Renewable energy runs on fuel sources that will never run out, doesn’t pollute while generating electricity, and decreases our dependence on foreign suppliers.

We understand that renewables have their own unique challenges. Even so, renewable energy seems to be the better alternative over dirtier, fossil-fuel based power sources. Additionally, if you take into account the effects which are not reflected in the market price of fossil fuels–factors such as environmental pollution, health impacts and other social costs, the true cost of coal and other fossil fuels are staggering. The increasing likelihood of even stricter emissions standards being imposed on fossil-fuel based power plants could potentially boost their prices even higher. 
The main obstacle to getting started with renewable energy is start-up costs. Even with the trend of lowering costs for solar and wind, renewable energy requires a substantial initial investment. Currently, government incentives in the U.S. have not been sufficient to adequately support the growth and development of renewable energy. As of now, creative solutions are needed.
Energy conservation will need to be part of any energy plan, as with conservation there are associated cost savings. A strategic energy plan (SEP) which bundles renewable power generation with a comprehensive plan to increase efficiency and reduce demand greatly enhances the economics of the project.

Most solar and wind development in the U.S. have been structured as a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

A PPA brings together vendors, investors, and customers seeking renewable energy installations in an agreement where each party contributes and each party benefits. Investors contribute upfront costs and in return enjoy the benefits of government incentives, as well as a steady return from the generated energy by providing that service to the customers. The vendors provide the best equipment and are able to reach customers who otherwise could not afford their technology. Businesses or municipalities provide the location for the installation and use the produced energy. While enjoying the benefits of the renewable energy, they now have predictable energy expenses and no out of pocket up-front costs. Plans such as these require a new forward-thinking attitude towards energy.
In the past, energy has been a somewhat predictable, regulated expense. While today’s energy consumers now have greater input in their energy plan and can take more active steps in understanding and be aware of their energy options, most people need a lot of guidance. This is a great time to seek out and consult with the experts.