Telecom Climate Change Question 7

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Question

Does at least 25% of the electricity that the brand (company) uses for its 'own operations' come from direct renewable energy resources, that are proven to be additional?

  • Dutch version: Komt tenminste 25% van de elektriciteit die het merk (bedrijf) gebruikt voor de eigen bedrijfsvoering van hernieuwbare bronnen die bewezen additioneel zijn?
  • German version: Bezieht der Markenhersteller mindestens 25% der Elektrizität aus erneuerbaren, nachgewiesen zusätzlichen Quellen?

References

This question is a follow-up on Telecom Climate Change Question 5, but proven additionality of the energy resources is required for this question.

What is additionality
In the Netherlands and probably other countries as well (see Cool IT report p. 27 about 'Renewable energy credits'), there is a clear issue about additionality when buying green energy certificates or credits. Although Greenpeace states that electricity generated from hydropower stations built in the 60s in Scandinavia is more sustainable than electricity generated from gas or coal (see Telecom Climate Change Question 5) it is often questionable if green certificates do really contribute to the development of green energy. For example, companies can buy and sell cheap Scandinavian hydroelectricity generated with dams that were built in the 60's. As those certificates are still abundant, there is no additionality to business-as-usual, and certainly no reduction of carbon emissions or incentive to further invest in renewable energy. Therefore, this is a point of attention, and we require website companies at least to be transparent about the source of the green energy certificates and credits.

For a list of Dutch energy companies that use energy from renewable resources that are proven to be additional, see the Dutch report Duurzaamheid Nederlandse Elektriciteitssector by Greenpeace and SOMO.

Technically almost all energy derived from green certificates that are not additional come from Scandinavia (92%). In the Netherlands there is a shortage in renewable energy generated in the Netherlands, which naturally means that renewable electricity generated in the Netherlands has to be derived from newly built solar panels, wind turbines or hydropower stations, which means that renewable electricity generated in the Netherlands has a 99,5% chance to be additional.

A good example for this question is KPN that has procured only green electricity that is generated virtually entirely in the Netherlands, see [1].

Answering Guidelines

Yes:

  • [Brand] uses (xx)% energy from renewable resources. This was purchased [e.g. where, what certificates, what type of renewable energy?]/ this was generated by own [windmills/solar panels etc..].

?:

  • [Brand] uses (xx)% energy from renewable resources, but it is unclear whether these resources are proven to be additional.
  • [Brand] does not communicate whether it uses renewable energy on its website.

No:

  • [Brand] uses (xx)% from renewable resources, but this energy comes from [e.g. where, what certificates] which is not additional.