Green Power for Green Buildings
A featured article by John Powers, LEED AP & Director of Business Development for Renewable Choice Energy
On our path to building a world that will sustain human life for generations to come, we are going to need many concurrent strategies. Building more efficiently – in terms of energy use, water use, sustainable materials and so on – is a crucial step. Perhaps even more crucial, however, is moving to sources of energy that leave a lighter footprint on the planet.
In the US, we still get over 70% of our electricity from mining and burning fossil fuels. The way we produce electricity (according to the EPA) is the number one cause of US air pollution, not to mention the directly-related effects of climate change, mercury pollution, acid rain, mountaintop removal mining, etc. Luckily, the last decade has seen worldwide record growth in renewable energy development. It is now possible for every individual, company and building in America to join what has been popularly coined as “the green power revolution”.
When most people think of green power for their green building, they instinctively imagine solar panels or some other onsite energy source. While this may be the most obvious strategy for choosing green power, it is often not the most cost effective and is not the most common. Grid-source green power, in the form of renewable energy credits (RECs), allows building owners to aggregate demand to help support and grow new large-scale renewable energy facilities. Over the last 10 years, while providing green power to over 1,000 LEED projects worldwide, we have run across some common questions about RECs and the LEED Green Power Credit, starting with “What the heck am I buying?” I will address the most pertinent of those questions here… (cont.)
Read the full article at Green Building Pro.