Electricity Prices To Rise Due To Renewable Energy Investments

Any newcomer to the world of clean energy might become quickly lost in the maze of various renewable sources, technologies, incentive programs, efficiency opportunities, and other complexities in what is a very large – and often fragmented – part of the energy landscape.

Below are some invaluable resources that offer helicopter-view insights into clean energy for potential investors or other participants looking for a way to get a foot in the door.

For socially responsible investors: Who is using clean energy?

The Environmental Protection Agency has a Green Power Partnership National Top 50 list showing the US’ 50 largest users of green power by yearly partner contract amount. Visitors to the site can break the list down into several categories, including Top 50 retail, Top 10 federal government, 100% green power users.

Wind power producer Vestas and Bloomberg New Energy Finance maintain a Global Corporate Renewable Energy Index that sheds light on corporate energy consumption – how much, and what type, of renewable energy used by both large and smaller, forward-thinking firms. You can download the 2012 version here.

For project developers and homeowners: Where are the best places to invest in clean energy?

Accounting giant Ernst & Young maintains a Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index that ranks countries according to their renewable energy investment and deployment opportunities. It breaks rankings down by macro drivers (such as macro stability), energy market drivers and technology-specific drivers. The US is currently #1, followed by China, Germany and Australia.

For US-specific information, the NRDC has a fun color-coded map that shows the potential for wind, solar, cellulosic biomass, biogas and enhanced geothermal across the country. It also has a state-by-state breakdown of renewables potential, but only for 13 states.

Also US-specific is the US Department of Energy and Interstate Renewable Energy Council’s Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency, or DSIRE. The database provides comprehensive state-by-state information on incentives and policies designed to support renewables and energy efficiency.

And infographic site Visual.ly has a great map showing basins where carbon dioxide could potentially be stored, if captured. The site has other interesting energy graphics, such as energy use by the plastics industry, and what impact efficiency measures could have on its consumption.

What else is out there?

Since so many of our readers are well-versed in the world of renewables and efficiency, and how to find information about both, we invite you to let other readers know about valuable resources in the comments section below. Which sites or other information sources do you consider most useful?