Why Does Green Power Cost More Than Conventional Power?
Most green electricity costs just a couple of cents more per kilowatt hour to produce than traditional energy, according to many sources. One advantage that green power has over fossil-fuel based energy sources is that most renewable sources are not subject to fluctuating fuel prices. It does not actually cost any money to get energy from the sun, the water, or the wind. The money is spent investing in the technology and infrastructure necessary to harness that energy efficiently and distribute it to power customers.
Some people are resistant to a switch to green power, because it involves a large investment up front, and we already have the existing infrastructure to produce energy in a conventional manner. However, many people are starting to see that the investment in green power is the investment in a premium product, the energy of the future. Climate change, oil spills, and coal mining disasters continue to remind us that the old way is not always the best way.
Some governments around the world are encouraging green power country-wide. In other places, it is up to people to choose for themselves. Individuals and businesses can easily purchase green power in a variety of ways. In the U.S, some utility companies offer the option of investing in more renewable energy sources. Power customers around the U.S. pay upwards of 0.2 cents extra per kilowatt hour to their utility company if they wish to participate in purchasing green power in addition to paying their usual utility bill.
Other people do not have the option of purchasing green power through their utility company, or perhaps they prefer to consider purchasing certified green energy through organizations such as Green-e, Eco Electrons, or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership.
One advantage of purchasing green power and becoming a member of the Green Power Partnership is good publicity for businesses and organizations. For example, the U.S. EPA has just released this year’s top purchasers of renewable energy. According to a publicity email from the EPA, “The top 10 on the list are Intel Corporation, Kohl’s Department Stores, Whole Foods Market, City of Houston, Dell Inc., Johnson & Johnson, Cisco Systems, Inc., Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, U.S. Air Force, and the City of Dallas.” It might cost a little more money, but these sustainable businesses and localities are now seen as environmental leaders based on their commitment to green energy use.