RECs vs Offsets

Are you unsure about the benefits of offsetting? If you are and many are debating offsets, an alternative is buying extra electricity from solar or wind which increases the supply globally (RECs or iRECs). Out of all of the energy sources we need more green electricity before any other commodity. In the UK Chris Goodall discusses in ‘What we need to do now‘ that we need 25 times more green electricity.

A REC is not an offset but does ‘offset/replace’ scope 1 electricity used and buying more than your scope 1 requirements can only be a good thing, if you still don’t want to offset as a company.

The main difference between renewable energy certificates vs carbon credits is what they offset. Where carbon credits help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy certificates offset electricity use from non-renewable sources. Instead of offsetting carbon, RECs offset kilowatt hours.

Giles Dickson and WindEurope reduced the price by 5 times over 6 years due to industry work. Offsets can also support the global energy transition.

Buying offsets and RECs can also be a way to redistribute wealth to lower GDP countries. The advice is don’t always buy the cheapest offset, find country you want to support, investigate what you are buying and how the country benefits from the production in the offset or REC in their country. This is what Gold Standard does to ensure it complies with the #SustainableDevelopmentGoals.

Offsets do have benefits and so does purchasing extra RECs.

Generally if we buy green electricity/RECs we buy them in a #Book&Claim way, meaning we never know where the electricity is, if it is in our house/office or another. Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) is working on a Book & Claim system for Sustainable Aviation Fuel #SAF too.

Contact sarah@flygreenalliance.org if you would like to discuss your sustainability and energy needs.

FGA works on the energy transition.

#solar #electricity #wind #energy #offsets #RECs #iRECS

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