Berkeley Lab Research News banner Berkeley Lab logo
October 6, 2004
Berkeley Lab and Partners Provide Advice On ‘How to Buy
Green Power’
New Guidebook will help organizations, facility managers buy renewable energy
BERKELEY, CA – How do you buy power from renewable energy providers, or make the case for the business benefits of green power? A new document, incorporating technical advice from researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, as well as other institutions, can show the way.

The Guide to Purchasing Green Power is a joint product of four key agencies who are supporting the development of green power markets: the DOE’s Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership, the Sustainable Enterprise Program of the World Resources Institute (WRI), and the Green-e Renewable Energy Certification Program administered by the Center for Resource Solutions.

Berkeley Lab researchers Rich Brown and Bill Golove in the Environmental Energy Technologies Division were lead authors and coordinated the preparation of the document. Independent consultant Ed Holt also contributed to the guidebook.

The authors of the Guide wrote it for a broad audience. They expect it to be useful to businesses, government agencies, universities, and organizations that want to diversify their energy supply and reduce the environmental impact of their electricity use. The Guide incorporates advice from dozens of experts, including facilities and energy managers, buyers, and researchers.

“It represents a consensus of the lessons learned over the last six-plus years about the best ways to buy green power,” says Brown. “The guide is the closest thing there is to an ‘official’ guide from the federal government for organizations that want to buy green power.”

“Most organizations are new to buying green power, but an increasing number are planning purchases in the future,” says Golove. “Several key organizations recognized the need for information to help turn this interest into actual purchases. We felt it would be valuable to the market to develop a guidebook that represented consensus guidelines and collective wisdom about what’s been learned in procuring green power for institutions.”

The need for such a guidebook has become even more evident as green power markets continue to expand. For example, as of the end of 2003, nearly 1,650 megawatts (MW) of new renewable generating capacity had been added in the U.S. to meet the demand for voluntary green power purchases. This is enough to meet the annual electricity needs of more than 500,000 houses.

The Guide answers questions about renewable energy and green power, focusing on electricity from renewable sources. It describes environmental benefits and provides organizations with guidelines on how to procure green power and understand green power product certification and verification. Finally, sections of the Guide describe how organizations can approach the development of on-site renewable power generation.

For agencies of the federal government which are trying to achieve an aggressive renewable-energy goal, the Guide summarizes the guidelines and procurement rules they must follow in buying green power.

Download the report at:

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