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Connecting the Dots: How to Design a Dynamic Clean Energy Strategy

This is the final blog in our “Connect the Dots” series, intended to provide insight into how clean energy solutions connect companies to a variety of business advantages. In today’s installment, we will describe how a multifaceted clean energy strategy sets your organization apart in a competitive industry.  Click here to view all seven “Connect the Dots” blogs, and stay tuned for our upcoming series highlighting renewable energy opportunities in markets around the globe. 

Leading Fortune 500 companies such as Wal-Mart and Google have resolutely responded to the economic argument for climate action by implementing dynamic clean energy strategies.  And they’re not alone in their efforts.  The RE100 now consists of 87 companies that have officially committed to 100% renewable energy, and over 600 businesses and investors recently signed an open letter urging the United States’ continued participation in the Paris Agreement.

Corporate, industrial, and institutional (C&I) entities worldwide are elevating their procurement practices like never before and advancing our world towards a more sustainable future.  Here are 6 things to understand and consider as your company works towards its energy goals:

What is a PPA?

A Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) is a long-term (12-20 years) contract between a renewable energy developer and a dedicated, creditworthy buyer.  PPAs enable developers to secure financing for new wind or solar projects and allow buyers to save money on their energy costs by locking-in predictable pricing from clean energy sources.

What is an EAC?

An Energy Attribute Certificate (EAC) is a free market instrument that verifies one megawatt hour of renewable electricity was generated and added to the grid from a green power source.  EACs are the leading way that global companies acquire, track, and trade renewable energy.  When bundled with purchased electricity, EACs enable buyers to make renewable electricity utilization and marketing claims.

What is a REC?

Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) are the leading way that companies acquire green power.  A REC verifies that one megawatt hour (MWh) of renewable electricity was generated by a clean power facility and added to the electric grid.  When the electricity is generated, a REC is created in a simultaneous 1:1 ratio.  When bundled with purchased electricity, RECs convey environmental benefits that allow buyers to make green power claims.

What are International Renewable Energy Markets for C&I Buyers?

Renewable energy markets have developed internationally as a result of globalization, market volatility, climate action demands, and updates to the GHG Protocol’s Scope 2 Guidance.  As it has become increasingly important for C&I buyers to source global products from the same geographic grid region where their electricity is consumed, markets worldwide have responded with credible EACs, PPAs, and carbon offsets.

What are Offsets?

A carbon offset (also referred to as a Verified Emissions Reduction—VER) is the reduction of a specific amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting from carbon mitigation projects.  An offset ensures that one metric ton of carbon dioxide (CO2), or its equivalent in other greenhouse gases, such as methane, is removed from the atmosphere or prevented from entering it.

What is LEED® v4?

LEED, or Leadership in Environmental Energy and Design, was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council in 2000.  It is the most widely used third-party verification for green buildings with more than 15 billion square feet of certified building space worldwide.  The latest version of the LEED rating system is LEED v4.  As of October 2016, all new projects must register under LEED v4.

Our mission is to make it ever easier for all organizations to embrace clean, renewable energy. For more information on how your company can strategically achieve its clean energy objectives, contact us here.  We look forward to connecting with you.

By | 2017-02-03T16:12:35+00:00 February 1st, 2017|connect the dots|

About the Author:

Amy brings 20 years’ experience in leadership and organizations to her work in sustainability communications for Renewable Choice. She earned her M.Ed. at Colorado State University.