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Green power products offset carbon from afar

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( – Businesses dont have to bolt solar panels to the roof and pray for sunny skies these days in order to be part of the renewable energy movement.

With the genesis of the voluntary green pricing market more than a decade ago, companies are increasingly reaping the benefits of reducing their carbon footprints and stabilizing their energy costs without having to generateor even physically accessgreen sources of power.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory says the growth of the voluntary green power market is due in part to increased purchases of renewable energy certificates and greater engagement from corporations and institutions such as hospitals and universities.

The voluntary market totaled 18 million megawatt-hours in 2007, an increase of 50 percent from the previous year. The NREL predicts voluntary demand will reach 40 million megawatt-hours by 2010. While that represents just 3 percent of the overall U.S. electricity market of about 526 million megawatt-hours, renewable energy experts are encouraged.

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