Renewable Energy Certificates: Why They Are Falling Short

A practice which seems great in theory, but is falling short, renewable energy certificates (REC) is a way big emitters believes they can meet the Paris target of the Eart warming no more than 1.5 degrees Celcius.

Recent research has found these RECs have low integrity across the board and could allow companies to make manadatory reportings on emissions that are not accuate or even correct.

What are renewable energy certificates? Listen to the latest episode of The Science Briefing below:

With planet Earth potentiall being 2.7 degrees warmer by the end of the century according to some estimates, Dr Sophie Calabretto and Cosmos Magazine journalist Ellen Phiddian discuss if RECs actually work in reducing emmissons.

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“Companies using renewable energy certificates might be reporting emission reductions that aren’t at all, so they can claim to have a much lower impact on the environment than they actually do,” Phiddian said.

“They also point out there’s a risk of double counting the emissions benefits of renewable energy generation, so if one company is buying an REC and another is generating that renewable energy and both are saying that contributes to emission reduction, but its the same amount of energy going into the grid.”

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