The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its latest ranking of the top green power purchasers in the US. The rankings show that Intel has maintained its overall lead with the purchase of almost 2.8 billion kWh of green electricity.
Intel has led the rankings since I first reported on the EPA list back in 2008, although the amount of green power that the company purchases has more than doubled in that time. It now accounts for almost 90% of the company’s electricity use in the US.
The quarterly rankings also include the top 20 tech and telecom companies. Behind Intel is Microsoft, with 1.1 billion kWh, 46% of the company’s electricity use, followed by Cisco (269 million kWh/27%), Sprint (176 million kWh/5%) and Dell (119 million kWh/29%).
I’m not sure how useful this data really is. For a start it’s US only, so lots of overseas manufacture, for example, will not be reflected. Also, organisations can meet the EPA requirements through Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), on-site generation and utility-supplied green power. RECS are effectively a means to offset emissions, which is not necessarily the best way forward and should only really be a last resort (after reducing power needs through improved efficiency and generating/buying green power).
Apple comes bottom of the top 20 tech and telecoms list, with 12 million kWh of green power purchased, but this apparently accounts for all of the company’s US electricity use. Some companies, including AMD, Adobe and Nokia apparently purchased more green power than they actually use in the US – 104%, 103% and 133% respectively. I’d like to hear more about what it is they’re buying and why.