The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Green Power Partnership has released a draft white paper titled ‘The Environmental Value of Purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates Voluntarily.’
The purpose of this paper is to educate EPA Green Power Partners and prospective partners about the environmental value of purchasing renewable energy certificates (RECs) voluntarily.
The paper addresses the role of RECs in the renewable energy marketplace, their role in reducing emissions, and the manner in which a corporate greenhouse gas inventory accounts for the environmental value of a voluntary REC purchase.
Highlights of the paper include the following:
– EPA supports organizations increasing their green power use via on-site production, green power purchases from electric service providers or REC purchases from providers, provided the product option meets Green Power Partnership eligibility criteria.
– An organization buying RECs that meet the Green Power Partnership eligibility criteria can claim to be buying zero-emission renewable electricity, which reduces or avoids its indirect emissions from purchased electricity. EPA also encourages organizations that purchase RECs voluntarily to express the RECs' environmental benefits as a reduction in the organization's carbon footprint.
– Purchasing RECs voluntarily is an important and valuable means for expanding renewable energy across the U.S.
– Green Power Partners and prospective partners should understand that their purchasing choices send important market signals. Partner purchases support development of new renewable energy sources and the growth of green power.