July 26, 2023
Last month, HASI’s Chad Reed was joined by REsurety’s Lee Taylor, TCR’s Hank He, GM’s Rob Threlkeld, and Putnam Investments’ Katherine Collins to participate in a panel at the GreenFin 23 event. The discussion revolved around the need to move beyond megawatt hour matching and towards carbon matching. This episode of Climate Positive is a recording of that discussion.
For several years, well-intentioned companies seeking to reduce their emissions from electricity consumption – a primary component of their Scope 2 emissions – have bought Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) or signed Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). Known as energy or megawatt hour matching, this approach, which forms the backbone of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol’s Scope 2 Market-Based Method accounting system, does not distinguish the time, location or emissions profile of a company’s electricity consumption from that of its REC and PPA interventions to offset this consumption.
But as different grids have decarbonized at different rates over the years, the emissions impact of a REC purchased or PPA signed in one location at a particular time no longer necessarily has a similar impact to RECs purchased or PPAs signed in different locations at different times. In essence, at least as it pertains to carbon impact, not every megawatt hour is created equal.
In this episode, recorded at the GreenFin 23 Conference in Boston, Chad leads a panel of industry experts – including Katherine Collins of Putnam Investments; Hank He of Tabors Caramanis Rudkevich; Lee Taylor of REsurety; and Rob Threlkeld of General Motors – on the deficiencies of energy matching, the benefits of a new approach known as carbon matching and the resulting implications for ongoing efforts to reform Scope 2 of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.