In a blog post of February 4, 2012, I wrote, “In spite of extensive incentives from U.S. federal and state governments…, renewable energy consumption of solar and wind from 2006 to 2010 has been underwhelming at best.”
That observation was confirmed in a recent article in the Boston Globe (January 31, 2012), “Green electricity finds few customers in Mass:”
“Five years after NStar became the first Massachusetts utility to allow customers to buy electricity supplied by a wind farm, its Green program has failed to catch on. Less than 1 percent of the company’s nearly 900,000 customers have enrolled.”
“The dismal response resembles lackluster participation in similar renewable energy programs offered by other utilities, worrying state officials as they push toward a goal of generating 20 percent of electricity from renewable energy by 2020.”
“The NStar program has faltered because of the recession and falling fossil fuel prices, which resulted in a greater surcharge for wind energy. Environmental activists are frustrated and question whether utilities have done enough to publicize the programs.”
Electricity from renewable energy makes sense from environmental impact and domestic accessibly perspectives. However, cost to the consumer is more important.
Note: There are 11 government agencies that support the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Solicitations from these agencies are published several times during the year and contain dozens of problem topics. For example, many topics from the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Energy (DOE) have a keen interest in energy efficiency and renewable energy, some of which may overlap the issues raised in this post. Small businesses, sometimes teamed with universities, may submit proposals in response to these topics and possibly receive awards for technology/process development.Tags: Cost of Electricity, NStar, Renewable Energy, Renewable Energy Subsidies, SBIR, STTR, Utilities