A new nationwide program has kicked off with the aim of encouraging organizations to purchase renewable energy for at least the next five years. The Renewable Energy Markets Association (REMA) launched its Renewable Energy Pledge Program and is already finding success recruiting organizations to participate.
The city of Austin, Tex., Southern Oregon University, Diamond Packaging and others have voluntarily made long-term commitments to purchasing renewable energy. According to REMA, Americans voluntarily purchased more than 30 million megawatt hours of renewable energy in 2009. But more needs to be done, REMA says, and demand is the primary catalyst for greater development of renewable energy sources like wind and solar power.
Organizations who make the pledge commit to purchasing renewable energy for at least the next five years, with the goal of tripling U.S. voluntary purchases of renewable energy by 2015. Long-term commitments are said to help alleviate risk and provide certainty associated with renewable energy project development.
Austin is just one of the municipalities that has committed to the pledge. It is also the largest city government in the country to switch to 100 percent renewable energy. Austin Mayor Lee Feffingwell is encouraging other businesses and government entities to do the same and pledge to run their facilities using renewable energy.