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government encouragement of green business

Page history last edited by PBworks 11 years, 12 months ago
New York State already produces 19% of its electricity through renewable sources. It wants to increase that number to 25% by 2013. Likewise, the city of Austin, Texas has passed a resolution to get 20% of its electricity from renewables by 2020. In fact, the State of Texas passed legislation in 2005 that set a goal for the entire state to get 5% of its electricity from renewable by 2015 and 10% by 2025.
California is the leading U.S. state in terms of solar power generation. The capitol city, Sacramento, has solar generation totaling about 10 megawatts, including one of the world’s largest solar facilities, located at the Sacramento Municipal Utility District. San Francisco has also passed legislation seeking to build a similar amount over the short-term. Long-term, San Francisco planners hope to develop 40 megawatts of solar power, enough to meet about 5% of the city’s peak electricity needs. City residents have authorized the issuance of revenue bonds of up to $100 million to back the development of renewable power sources. For example, the roof of the city’s huge convention center has been layered with solar panels—enough to generate 675 kilowatts. (San Francisco’s long-range plans also call for the use of smaller, cleaner gas-fired conventional generating stations, and perhaps the use of tidal energy.) California’s legislature has set a statewide goal of requiring retail sellers of electricity to obtain at least 20% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2010, and 33% by 2020.
The U.S. federal government is also pushing green initiatives. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 stipulates that oil refiners vastly increase the amount of biofuels added to gasoline and diesel fuel by 2012. Refiners are responding by blending ethanol with gasoline. Specifically, refiners are required to add 4.0 billion gallons of biofuels (ethanol and biodiesel) to gasoline and diesel in 2006, (up from 0.7 billion in 2005) increasing to 7.5 billion by 2012.
Off the road, an energy-saving lighting standard proposed by the U.S. Congress would phase out common incandescent light bulbs by 2016 and replace them with compact fluorescent lights (CFL). GE is the biggest seller of these bulbs, which use 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last six times longer. In 2007, GE announced a new, more efficient incandescent bulb that is comparable to CFLs. At the same time, manufacturers are also working to reduce prohibitive costs of light-emitting diodes, which have the potential to save billions of dollars in electricity costs while greatly reducing pollution. PolyBrite International, www.polybrite.com, is one such company.
Outside of the U.S., major initiatives in Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan, Spain and handful of other countries spur on technology research and implementation of renewable power. The European Union set a goal for its member countries to double the amount of power generated by renewable sources to 12% by 2010 in accordance with the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. In a 2007 proposal, the EU called for cutting carbon dioxide levels from 1990 by 20% by 2020.
Japanese firms, notably Sharp, Sanyo and Kyocera, have massive solar power research and development projects underway, and are significant competitors of American manufacturers of solar equipment. Sharp is the largest manufacturer of photovoltaic equipment in the world, with almost 30% of the world market. Consumers in Japan are encouraged to invest in solar power by government incentives, and the Japanese Government’s strategy is to get 38% of the nation’s total power needs from renewable sources by the year 2020—a logical goal for a country with high energy demands and major dependence on foreign supplies of fossil fuels. Citizens are encouraged to take energy conserving steps by the imposition of stiff gasoline taxes and generous subsidies to homes that use home fuel cells.
Germany has been investing in both wind and solar power. The country is the world’s largest producer of wind power, and second in solar only to Japan. Through powerful incentives that include rebates and payment for excess power, German consumers and companies alike have been building nonstop. 
In Spain, government incentives are promoting the use of concentrating solar power (CSP). The Spanish government has set a goal of building 500 megawatts of solar-thermal generation capacity over the near term. To do so, it has instituted “feed-in” tariffs that require utility companies to buy CSP plant generated power at premium rates.




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