Why 24/7 clean energy beats carbon offsetting

Excerpt from weforum.org/agenda

As discussions advance at COP26, it’s becoming increasingly popular for companies to claim they use 100% renewable energy – but so is the word ‘greenwashing’. In this context, the term is used to describe branding that makes power generated by fossil fuel seem clean, normally via renewable energy certificates (RECs). Although RECs are a first step towards supporting clean energy generation, they allow companies to claim 100% renewable energy when some of the energy they use is actually being generated by fossil fuels. To overcome the risk of greenwashing, some companies have committed to around-the-clock carbon-free energy, also known as 24/7 clean energy.

What is 24/7 clean energy?

24/7 clean energy fixes the mismatches of power supply-demand, the associated grid congestion, and inherent CO2 emissions (notably by peak demand being covered by fossil sources, such as coal, oil and gas). It matches electricity consumption with carbon-free energy generation on an hourly basis, from resources on the same local and regional grids. As a result, 24/7 clean energy shifts from offsetting energy emissions (mostly through RECs) to ‘time-location‘ tracked energy procurement, thus maximising real-time, local impact. 24/7 energy is fundamentally about recognising that with renewable energy, it DOES matter where and when you consume that energy – and it puts in place the mechanisms to address that challenge.