Renewable Energy Credits (RECs)
Category: Energy Supply, Renewable Energy Credits
Renewable energy credits are non-tangible commodities that represent the property rights to the environmental and social benefits of renewable energy. One REC is equal to 1 megawatt hour (MWh) of renewable energy produced. RECs are created at the time of electricity generation by renewable energy sources such solar, wind, geothermal, etc. RECs are verified, managed and traded by third-party organizations.
- One of the easiest and most flexible ways to mitigate purchased electricity related emissions.
- Supports development of renewable energy resources by providing an additional revenue stream.
- Minimal upfront cost with no long-term contract required.
- Universities could not only purchase clean energy, but sell their own REC’s if existing wind or solar operations overproduce
- By definition, purchasing RECs will increase electricity costs.
- RECs vary greatly in quality, traceability and price.
- Not all stakeholders may view this as a genuine carbon-mitigation strategy.
- Can vary greatly state-to-state
- Greenhouse Gas Impact
- Economic Impact
- Small Net Cost
- < 1 year
- Low / None
- Hmm... Okay.
Greenhouse Gas Impact
Can be significant if large amounts are purchased
By definition purchasing RECs is cost-additive.
Many institutions are already purchasing RECs.
RECs are available for purchase. Internal approval may take time.
Other than annual monitoring and purchasing, there is no maintenance required.
One of the most accessible solutions but stakeholders may remain skeptical.