I just found out about a great program here in Detroit called green currents. Detroit Edison (DTE) has negotiated contracts with existing renewable energy producers, they buy green energy credits and then pass them on to customers who sign up for the program. The electricity provided to the customer is then effectively provided by the renewable power plant (wind, solar, hydro, biomass, geothermal). Better yet is that DTE has been able to sign contracts with new renewable projects enabling them to be built. This has allowed the construction of a large new wind farm in Michigan, a farm biomass digester, and a landfill generating station. The best part is this will only increase my power bill by about $2 a month, or roughly 10%. To my knowledge Michigan isn’t exactly a wellspring of renewable power, it doesn’t have tons of hydro or wind (yet), so if they can provide customers with renewable options for only 10% more what is the big hold up in other places.
I don’t understand the reluctance to sign Kyoto or some similar agreement. A 10% price bump (and it would almost definitely be less) isn’t going to grind the economy to a halt, and the extra money that is spent will just be reinvested in the country (infrastructures, jobs, etc). It seems to me a better economic stimulus would be to take whatever amount of tax money they are giving back to people and invest it in research and/or building of either renewable power (wind, solar, etc) or renewable transportation. I think a few billion would go a long way in making some progress there.