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January 28, 2009
Voluntary Purchases of Renewable Energy by Businesses Reach Record Levels in 2008
    by Robert Kropp

Intel and PepsiCo lead corporate efforts in voluntary market for renewable energy certified by Green-e.

Voluntary purchases by businesses of renewable energy certified by the Green-e Marketplace, a third-party nonprofit certification program, reached record levels in 2008. Total purchases by Green-e Marketplace participants exceeded 2.8 million megawatt-hours (MWh) in 2008. Green-e Energy certified 69% of the overall voluntary renewable energy market in 2007.

The voluntary market for renewable energy has been driven by large commercial purchases of renewable energy certificates, which represent the environmental attributes of electricity produced from clean, naturally renewable resources. Participant organizations voluntarily support energy generated from renewable sources, which displace other non-renewable sources from the electric grid.

The largest purchase of renewable energy in history of 1.3 million megawatt-hours was made by Intel, the information technology company, in January 2008. The purchase placed Intel at the top of the EPA's Green Power Partnership Top 25 list, and also at the No. 1 spot on EPA's Fortune 500 Green Power Partners list.

Intel's renewable energy certificate (REC) purchase has the equivalent environmental impact of taking more than 185,000 passenger cars off the road each year, or avoiding the amount of electricity needed to power more than 130,000 average American homes annually. With the purchase, Intel uses renewable energy for an estimated 47% of its U.S. operations.

The second-largest purchase of renewable energy was made by PepsiCo, which has purchased more than one million megawatt-hours annually for three years. PepsiCo's purchase is equivalent to the amount of electricity needed to power nearly 90,000 average American homes annually.

Organizations that joined the Green-e Marketplace program in 2008 include Avatar New York, Beaulieu Commercial, Becton Dickinson Infusion Therapy Systems, Cascades Tissue Group, Hall Street Storage, Intel, K-1 Packaging Group, Marian Heath Greeting Cards, Millipore, the Philadelphia Phillies, Solberg Manufacturing, and Unboundary.

Green-e is a program of the Center for Resource Solutions (CRS), a San Francisco–based nonprofit that helps build policies and consumer protection mechanisms to foster environmental solutions to climate change.


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