Business Leaders Collaborate With WRI and BSR to Help Develop Green Power Markets

DENVER-Eleven major U.S. businesses are working with the World Resources Institute (WRI) and Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) to develop corporate markets for 1,000 MW of new “green” energy capacity over 10 years.

The partnership, calling itself the Green Power Market Development Group (GPMDG), was organized to support the development of green energy markets. It believes that such markets are essential to provide competitively priced energy that also protects the earth’s climate and reduces conventional air pollutants.

The corporate members of the group include DuPont, General Motors, IBM, Interface, Johnson & Johnson, Pitney Bowes and Kinko’s. Together, the 11 companies account for about seven percent of industrial energy use in the United States.

“In a time of major energy and environmental challenges, we are excited to see some of America’s companies making a major commitment to green power,” Energy Secretary Bill Richardson said when informed of this development. “We’re beginning to see a trend in corporate America’s willingness to participate in competitive electric markets, in order to make a significant down payment on our environmental future.”

The Green Power Market Development Group, organized in May 2000, is exploring a variety of green energy options and purchase opportunities to identify those that are cost-competitive. The group says that a collaborative approach will enable them to accelerate the development of mature green power markets that will benefit consumers and the environment.

This is a long-term process with companies hoping to support market development over a ten-year period.

The group hopes to identify its first sources of cost-competitive green power within the year, either from national, regional, or local energy sources. These will be from renewable sources and clean power technologies.

“We have a corporate goal of 10 percent of our energy supply from renewable sources at competitive prices,” said Paul Tebo, vice president for safety health and environment at DuPont. “We’re excited about participating in this group because we hope it will help us to meet that commitment.”

“We see the development of renewable energy markets and emerging technologies as essential to address environmental and energy issues,” said Dennis Minano, vice president for environmental health and safety and chief environment officer at General Motors.

“Our participation in this partnership enables us to continue our dialogue with diverse groups committed to developing sound solutions.”

“Today’s fossil fuel fired power plants are the single largest source of conventional air pollutants, and contribute to environmental and health problems, as well as global climate change,” according to Paul Stolpman, EPA office of atmospheric programs director.

A wide array of technically viable and environmentally preferable energy technologies is available today, with more under development. These technologies can effectively break the link between energy use and air emissions. However, markets for these technologies are small and immature.

By working together, the Green Power Market Development Group hopes to foster market demand for environmentally and economically sound energy.

“Businesses have the human and financial resources to make a huge difference in the world’s development path,” said Jonathan Lash, WRI president and former co-chair of the President’s Council for Sustainable Development. “It is inspiring to see companies acting now to help create a clean energy future.”

Bob Dunn, president and CEO, Business for Social Responsibility added: “The decision by these major energy users to demonstrate market interest in green power is a major development made all the more important by the strains on the current power system evident in many parts of the U.S. this summer.”

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