Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date

1-2011

Publisher

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

First page number:

i-vii, 1

Last page number:

35

Abstract

With organizations and individuals increasingly interested in accounting for their carbon emissions, greater attention is being placed on how to account for the benefits of various carbon mitigation actions available to consumers and businesses. Generally, organizations can address their own carbon emissions through energy efficiency, fuel switching, on-site renewable energy systems, renewable energy purchased from utilities or in the form of renewable energy certificates (RECs), and carbon offsets. This paper explores the role of green power and carbon offsets in carbon footprinting and the distinctions between the two products. It reviews how leading greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting programs treat green power purchases and discusses key issues regarding how to account for the carbon benefits of renewable energy. It also discusses potential double counting if renewable energy generation is used in multiple markets.

Keywords

Carbon dioxide; Carbon footprinting; Carbon offsetting; Carbon offsets; Clean energy industries; Climate registry; Emissions; EPA; GHG; Green power; Greenhouse gases; REC; Renewable energy: Renewable energy certificates; Renewable energy sources

Disciplines

Environmental Policy | International Economics | Oil, Gas, and Energy | Sustainability

Language

English


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