Well, we knew it was only a matter of time. Energy experts predicted it would happen and it now has on a grand scale. Market players are claiming their products were made with renewable energy.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I think this is all good … at least to a point. But, it rarely tells the whole story and we should want to hear that whole story.
I bought a Tesla and I love it. It came with a temporary license plate claiming it was zero emissions … which it is not. It may be zero local emissions, but depending upon when I charge it the emissions may be increasing from coal plants for all I know.
And, the real question is have we truly decreased emissions in the entire production string from raw materials to and through the ultimate disposal of our products. Plastics are now a real hot button for environmentalists and they should be for us as well.
The answer is blowing in the wind, but that is the problem. We are still not sure what all this really means. Has anyone really calculated what it costs to ramp fossil fuel capacity up and down to accommodate the wind? No, because ramping is not in the hourly market, it is in the balancing market and prices there tend to be contractual not based upon kWh. Hmmm.
Again, I am not lobbying against wind, or solar for that matter. I am encouraged that retailers now see their energy use as an element of their brand strategy. Personally I would rather they also included the transportation of their raw materials and distribution into their environmental footprint. In the case of Budweiser, perhaps they should include the environmental footprint of the Clydesdales as well.
They are also adding to what is blowing in the wind.