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Consumers Willing To Pay More For Environmentally Responsible Fuels, Including Clean Coal

Clean coal power plant.
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) May 31, 2007
A majority of consumers said they would pay more for clean energy because it is good for the environment, according to a recent survey conducted by the Energy and Resources industry group of Deloitte. "The most dramatic finding was the growing willingness of electricity consumers to pay higher costs to use fuels that are less damaging to the environment, including coal, if delivered as clean coal," said Greg Aliff, vice chairman and national managing partner, Energy and Resources, Deloitte and Touche USA LLP.

A total of 62 percent of those surveyed said they would willingly pay higher electric rates for clean coal, and 54 percent said they would pay more for alternative energy sources.

"More than half of U.S. electric generation is based on coal, and support for clean-coal solutions could have a significant impact," stated Branko Terzic, Regulatory Policy Leader, Energy and Resources, Deloitte Services LP.

"We were surprised at the increasing level of support from consumers, but the findings remain mixed," added Terzic. "While more than three quarters of the consumers surveyed believed that alternative energy brought benefits, 42 percent would not pay an additional 5 percent on their electricity bill to support government mandated alternative energy purchases."

Key findings

When asked about the public benefits of the use of alternative energy sources, the respondents overwhelmingly said that the environment (86 percent), U.S. energy security (80 percent) and new job creation (76 percent) would benefit from alternative energy use.

These consumers would also have no problem with alternative energy facilities within "sight of home" with 83 percent accepting wind farms and 86 percent accepting solar panels.

Consumers were split on nuclear energy. About 46 percent of those who pay electric bills would support the building of a new nuclear power station within 20 miles of their communities while 48 percent would not.

Overwhelmingly 44 percent of the respondents cited "environmental" as the primary motivator when it would come to the purchase of alternative or renewable energy. The factor of "price" was the second most mentioned motivator (30 percent), followed by "energy reliability" (15 percent) and "jobs creation" (8 percent).

More than 70 percent of respondents said they were familiar with the terms "alternative" or "renewable" energy. Respondents were most familiar with solar (89 percent) and wind (73 percent) followed by ethanol (59 percent) and hydro (58 percent).

As used in this news release, the term "Deloitte" includes Deloitte and Touche USA LLP and its subsidiaries Deloitte and Touche LLP, Deloitte Consulting LLP, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP, and Deloitte Tax LLP.

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Peabody And Rentech Partner Up For First Commercial US Coal-to-Liquids Facility
St. Louis MO (SPX) May 31, 2007
Peabody Energy has announced it has entered into agreements with Rentech to fund up to $10 million of engineering and development costs for Rentech's planned coal-to-liquids project in Illinois and to supply the facility with nearly 1 million tons of coal annually. As part of the agreement, Peabody has an option to acquire a 20 percent equity interest in the project through increased funding.

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