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Wind-Power Program Participation: Developing Predictive Models

Abstract

Wind power and other renewable "green" resources provide a virtually emissions-free means of generating electricity and can provide economic benefits. Utilities are beginning to offer customers the option of purchasing green power at a higher price, in support of renewable resource development. This study examined the nature of the demand for wind power in Madison, Wisconsin and collected information about the characteristics of customers who are willing to pay a premium rate for green power. The study also refined a method to predict actual participation in a voluntary green power program.

Results

More customers said they would participate when the commitment was hypothetical as opposed to actual. A model was developed that could accurately predict which customers would actually sign up based on the level of certainty associated with their willingness to participate. Surveys also identified a group of residential customers whose participation is motivated by concerns about the environment.
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