Friday, October 06, 2006

The stagecoach goes green

This one isn't exactly in the realm of cool new technology, but it's still a big deal. Wells Fargo - the banking giant - just announced that it's going to buy wind power credits to offset 40% of its electricity use over a three year period - 550,000 megawatt hours (MWh - see definition below) annually. That makes them the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy credits in the nation, beating out Whole Foods Market, which was the largest buyer at 458,000 MWh (but offsetting all of their electricity use). Wells Fargo reports that the amount of megawatt hours they bought is roughly the same as taking 75,000 cars off the road each year.

Renewable energy credits are sold by brokers to large consumers. Utilities use the money from selling their renewable energy to help subsidize more clean electricity. Credits are certified by third party groups like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which also tracks power production from certain wind and solar farms.

For more information on renewable energy credits, check out the EPA's Green Power Partnership. And if you're really interested, check out the Chicago Climate Exchange - the world's first and the continent's only voluntary, legally binding global warming pollutant reduction and trading system.

Note: A megawatt hour is a measurement of how much energy is used in an hour. For example, running 1,000 watts for an hour is 1 kilowatt hour. Running 1,000,000 watts (lots of light bulbs) for an hour is 1 megawatt hour.

1 comment:

Ronan Jimson said...
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