Motivations for Buying Wind Power
Electricity consumers may have a variety of motivations for buying wind power, including helping the environment, capturing long-term price stability, securing lower-cost energy, improving public relations, and reducing the need for imported fuels in remote communities. In general, however, the decision is usually based on the following three motivations.
Voluntary renewable energy purchases are often referred to as “green power” purchases. Individuals, businesses, utilities, and governments make voluntary purchases to express their energy source preferences or to meet personal or institutional renewable energy commitments.
Hedging or Reducing Energy Costs
Hedging allows electricity customers and utilities to potentially lower energy costs or reduce their exposure to volatile and rising commodity-based energy costs. Purchasing long-term, defined energy contracts provided by wind generation also stabilizes their supply portfolios. Some “green purchasing” programs allow average consumers to be exempt from fuel-based surcharges utilities typically add to electric bills.
Buying wind power may help an entity comply with a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP), or similar policy-driven renewable energy adoption efforts. These policies are designed to increase energy production from renewable sources such as wind. Because wind energy is the lowest-cost renewable generation technology in many areas, it is often used by companies to meet regulated renewable energy targets.