Future Earth
Global Carbon Project (GCP) Home

Purchase 100% truly new renewable electricity

The transition from fossil fuel energy generation to new renewable energy can directly reduce atmospheric carbon emissions.

Purchasing 100% truly new renewable electricity is one of the most efficient ways to reduce the carbon footprint of your organization with regarding the need for stationary energy.

Buying truly new renewable electricity is when your payments is invested by a company or C offset provider (intermediate business) to pump electricity into the power grid from renwable resources (which would not be possible without your payment). Other providers offer C offsets for the equivalent C emitted of your carbon-based electricty. In this case the provider may have projects including or not renewable energy elsewhere (eg. planting trees) and not necessarily connected to the power grid from where you are taken the electricity.

It is also important to ensure that renewable energy is produced by recently built power plants. For example, if a supplier is offering  renewable energy from a pre-1997 hydro-electric system, and another, more expensive from a plant commissioned in the past few years, only the second option can be consider for C offsets.

When purchasing low carbon energy it is important to look into the details of the products on offer. International renewable energy suppliers and other non-Governmental Organizations provide national assessments. As examples, Switchwise lists energy companies around Australia that provide Green Power accredited products, ACORE and EIA offers information for the US, and UKGreenpower offers comparisons for the UK.

Where new renewable energy is not available to your location or electricity grid, other options can include micro generation of electricity or offsetting the emissions.

Go certified, 100%

  • Certification by an independent third party can help ensure that you get the quantity, quality, and type of green power you pay for. The certification will indicate that the green-power companies are meeting the environmental and customer-protection guidelines adopted by the certifying organizations.
  • Buy accredited green power as close to 100% as you can afford, and when possible, from renewable energy sources.
Markard J, Truffer B (2006) The promotional impacts of green power products on renewable energy sources: direct and indirect eco-effects. Energy Policy 34:306-321 doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2004.08.005