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
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.
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.