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What Delta is Doing
Where Do You Want to GO Next?
In recent years, an unprecedented convergence of issues has catalyzed growth in renewable energy including climate change, decreasing supply of fossil fuels, worldwide economic decline, high-profile environmental accidents, increased severity and frequency of destructive natural disasters, and traditional energy’s real or perceived threats to our national security.
Renewable energy sources (wind, sunlight, waves, plants) are viewed as a superior alternative to traditional energy sources (coal, oil, gas) because they can be replenished rapidly and are capable of providing energy without the pollution that results from the burning of fossil fuels. Business and industry are embracing renewable energy as a way to reduce their carbon footprint while cutting long-term costs. Some companies are building on-site renewable energy systems that can generate income by allowing companies to sell excess energy back to the public power grid and that can help offset some of the company’s CO2 pollution. These actions can also contribute to companies’ participation in voluntary carbon markets.
Federal Stimulus legislation included a number of provisions that expedited financing for renewable energy development. And at the state level, a variety of policies that help grow/create markets for the manufacture, installation, and maintenance of wind turbines, solar panels, etc. are gaining traction. Policies such as net metering, production tax credits, feed-in tariffs, etc. are also paving the way for increased renewable energy development. Renewable Energy Credits are a growing trend in several states and can incentivize carbon-neutral renewable energy by providing a subsidy to electricity generated from renewable sources.
These supportive policies have the potential to spur rapid market growth and create thousands of new jobs in the growing Green Economy. For example, utility-scale wind has the potential to reinvigorate the region’s dwindling manufacturing base. The American Wind Energy Association reports that continued record-breaking growth in the wind energy industry resulted in 39 new, announced, or expanded manufacturing facilities in 2009 alone. Growth in the renewable energy sector has increased interest in the redevelopment of brownfields, which are often ideal locations for small-scale wind and solar developments. For example, Exelon recently signed a 25-year lease with the City of Chicago for 40 acres of formerly unproductive property that now hosts more than 32,000 solar panels capable of powering hundreds of homes annually.
What Delta Is Doing
Recognizing the environmental and economic development potential associated with renewable energy, Delta is:
• Redeveloping brownfield sites for sustainable use, including renewable energy production. These opportunities stimulate the green economy by remediating contaminated properties and providing both jobs and job training opportunities in communities with high under- or unemployment.
• Promoting Renewable Energy Credits through Delta’s green purchasing program, BuyingBetter.org.
• Assisting companies undergoing U.S. Green Building Council LEED certification to understand how renewable energy can fit into their energy portfolios through small-scale solar or wind installation and renewable energy credits.
• Designing and adminstering energy efficiency programs that include financing tools for renewable energy technologies.
• Financing renewable energy businesses and helping others find the capital and resources they need.
• Participating in Great Lakes United, a consortium of groups that support renewable energy sources and conservation programs that lessen dependence on fossil fuels and nuclear energy.
To explore other green opportunities, visit our Green Economy Navigator.