Systems promoting voluntary adoption of renewable energy
This chapter deals with voluntary agreements by residential, commercial and industrial consumers to procure renewable electricity. Many programs discussed throughout this book are voluntary. For example, no homeowner is forced to buy a rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) system, even with incentives provided as described in Chapters 3 and 6. The distinction in this chapter is that the consumer’s participation in green energy purchasing arrangements (voluntary purchases of electricity) or other voluntary schemes goes above and beyond what governmental mandates require. Participation is driven by consumer preferences for renewable electricity.
These preferences are based on a variety of considerations. Residential consumers might want to reduce the environmental impact of their electricity use by paying a premium above the base rate. Or they might participate in programs that involve multiple members of a community to procure renewable electricity. Corporations might want to demonstrate their commitment to reduced environmental footprints by procuring renewable electricity. They might want to improve shareholder relations by fulfilling a commitment to social responsibility. They might also want to secure a dedicated source of electricity and fix its price in a stable fashion.
Programs covered in this chapter include the following:
Section 7.1 discusses the innovative arrangements that create more broad-based participation by community members in renewable energy projects. The section focuses on community energy, which enables multiple subscribers to share in the output of a single renewable energy system (typically solar or wind). These systems provide access to renewable electricity and other...
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