By Kevin Mooney
Renewable Energy Index (CREX), a product of Bloomberg New Energy
Finance and Vestas Wind Systems, provides some insight. For the moment,
News Corp. appears to be outpacing Starbucks in its commitment to
renewables, according to the index.
News Corp. purchases 67 percent of
its electricity from renewable in comparison to 58 percent by
Starbucks. Researchers with the Cascade Policy Institute, based in
Oregon, surmise that public relations schemes are at work. News Corp.
is not exactly a media darling, while Starbucks has been winning points
in recent years for its environmental posturing. In any event, neither
company sits at top of the index. Whole Foods, Intel Corp. and Kohl’s
are the leading purchasers, the latest survey shows.
But a significant percentage of the companies listed on CREX did not
actually make purchases of renewable energy, the Cascade Policy
Institute has revealed. In reality, they are purchasing renewable
energy credits (RECs), which Cascade describes as a “fabricated
“A REC represents the alleged ‘environmental amenities’ associated
with certain forms of electrical power production such as wind or
solar,” Cascade reports. “For those in the trade, one REC is created
every time one megawatt-hour (MWh) or renewable energy is generated.
Two distinct commodities are associated with renewable energy, Cascade
explains. First, there is the actual electric output, and second, there
is the illusive environmental benefit.
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