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Top 50 buyers of renewable energy

Posted by: Adam Aston on April 28, 2009

The EPA released its 2008 tally of the top green buyers of renewable electricity in the US. Eight of the top 10 are corporations. Some interesting wrinkles just in the top ten:

* Pepsi, though second in this table might more fairly be called the nation’s biggest renewables buyer since its bottler comes in sixth; taken together the sum of their renewables would be nearly 20% more than top ranked Intel’s.

* Houston, capital of the US oil industry, is the biggest public buyer or green energy outside the federal government. That’s partly due to Texas’ abundance of wind power developments (in the panhandle) and pro-wind policies dating back to George W. Bush’s tenure as governor.

* Three are IT giants (Intel, Dell and Cisco). Notably Dell is listed as having bought 158% of its electricity as green energy, suggesting it bought 58% more than it consumed. I emailed a representative to learn more about this. For now, I’m guessing that as part of its agressive green push, the company may be buying renewable energy credits above and beyond its energy needs.

* Two energy providers standout as partners for most of the top 10: Sterling Planet co-supplies six of the top 10; 3 Degrees contracts with five of them.

Here’s a summary of the top 10:

Company | million kwh purchased | renewables as a share of total power used
1. Intel, 1,301, 46%
2. PepsiCo, 1,144, 100%
3. Kohl’s Department Stores, 601, 50%
4. Dell, 554, 158%
5. Whole Foods Market, 527, 100%
6. The Pepsi Bottling Group, 470, 100%
7. Johnson & Johnson, 435, 38%
8. U.S. Air Force, 426, 5%
9. Cisco Systems, 401, 46%
10. City of Houston Texas, 350, 27%

And for more details on these companies, plus other lists including top colleges and universities (where the nation’s wealthiest universities are surprising laggards), click here: EPA’s Top 50



BusinessWeek correspondents John Carey and Mark Scott, cover the green scene, keeping on top of the business aspects of energy, the environment and climate change, as well as the technologies, policies, markets and people that are shaping how the earth's resources will be used in the century ahead.

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