GLRPPR Sector Resource: Using Renewable Energy Purchases to Achieve Institutional Carbon Goals: A Review of Current Practices and Considerations
Using Renewable Energy Purchases to Achieve Institutional Carbon Goals: A Review of Current Practices and Considerations
With organizations and individuals increasingly interested in accounting for their carbon emissions, greater attention is being placed on how to account for the benefits of various carbon mitigation actions available to consumers and businesses. Generally, organizations can address their own carbon emissions through energy efficiency, fuel switching, on-site renewable energy systems, renewable energy purchased from utilities or in the form of renewable energy certificates (RECs), and carbon offsets. This paper explores the role of green power and carbon offsets in carbon footprinting and the distinctions between the two products. It reviews how leading greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting programs treat green power purchases and discusses key issues regarding how to account for the carbon benefits of renewable energy. It also discusses potential double counting if renewable energy generation is used in multiple markets.
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
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