EPA Green Power: Top 10 Energy Partners

Fri, 2013-10-04 07:27

In a previous blog post on the Power of Sustainability Partnerships, we discussed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Green Power Partnership as an avenue for Fortune 500 companies, government entities, and universities to report their renewable energy investments. Among these members, the use of green power helps to reduce the environmental impacts of electricity usage needed to maintain operations as well as facilitates the development of future renewable generative capacity nationwide. In fact, the continued development of renewable energy generation on a large-scale has promoted alternative energy adoption in both the commercial and residential sectors, as prices become more economically feasible.

As emphasized on the EPA’s website, members meeting the Green Power Partnership requirements use a combination of the following product options: (1) Renewable Energy Certificates, (2) On-site renewable energy, and (3) Utility green power products. Given these standards, the EPA is able to compile data across various renewable energy generative strategies to provide a comprehensive overview of membership impact on alternative energy solutions.

renewable energy crosswords

Below is a list of the top 10 members with the highest annual green power usage (in kilowatt hours), in conjunction with data on renewable energy systems utilized, and the percentage of green power to total electricity usage.

1. Intel Corporation

Energy Generation: 3,100,850,000 kWh

Renewable Energy Systems: Biogas, Biomass, Small-Hydro, Solar, & Wind

Green Power: 100% of Total Electricity Use

2. Microsoft Corporation

Energy Generation: 1,935,637,485 kWh

Renewable Energy Systems: Biomass, Small-Hydro, Solar, & Wind

Green Power: 80% of Total Electricity Use

3. Kohl’s Department Stores

Energy Generation: 1,536,529,000 kWh

Renewable Energy System: Solar

Green Power: 105% of Total Electricity Use

4. Whole Foods Market

Energy Generation:800,257,623 kWh

Renewable Energy Systems: Solar, & Wind

Green Power: 107% of Total Electricity Use

5. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. 

Energy Generation: 751,431,792 kWh

Renewable Energy Systems: Biogas, Solar, & Wind

Green Power: 4% of Total Electricity Use

6. U.S. Department of Energy

Energy Generation: 698,887,000 kWh

Renewable Energy Systems: Biomass, Geothermal, Small-Hydro, Solar, & Wind

Green Power: 14% of Total Electricity Use

7. Staples

Energy Generation: 635,982,674 kWh

Renewable Energy Systems: Biogas, Solar, & Wind

Green Power: 102% of Total Electricity Use

8. City of Houston, TX

Energy Generation: 622,887,000 kWh

Renewable Energy System: Wind

Green Power: 48% of Total Electricity Use

9. Starbucks

Energy Generation: 592,462,522 kWh

Renewable Energy System: Wind

Green Power: 70% of Total Electricity Use

10. Apple, Inc.

Energy Generation: 537,393,667 kWh

Renewable Energy Systems: Biogas, Biomass, Geothermal, Small-Hydro, Solar, & Wind

Green Power: 85% of Total Electricity Use

While the following companies only represent a fifth of the top organizations, their generative capacity is significant. For instance, Intel generates over 3 billion kWh of renewable energy, which when compared to the others on the list, outpaces the U.S. Department of Energy, Staples, the City of Houston, Starbucks, and Apple combined! Moreover, an examination of the renewable energy systems utilized to generate electricity reveals the variety of investment in generative capacities: while companies such as Intel, Microsoft, and Apple utilize an array of renewable energy systems, Kohl’s, Starbucks, and the City of Houston only use (solar or wind) for electricity.

In general, the EPA’s Green Power Partnership demonstrates the commitment that various U.S. organizations and government entities have in reducing the environmental impact of conventional electricity usage. Collectively, the purchases made by the top 50 partners amount to more than 20 billion kWh annually, which represents more than 70 percent of the total green power commitments across all partners! For a full list of the nation’s top 50 partners, which is updated quarterly, as well as more information on each, please visit the EPA’s Top 50 list.

By Peter J. Bock