Date of Award

January 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Yeo H. Lim


Fossil fuel-generated energy consumption via electricity purchased by organizations makes up much of worldwide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Commercial and industrial users consume more than two-thirds of electricity. Companies with warehouses, offices, data centers, and other facilities that engage in industrial processes consume significant amounts of purchased energy to power their operations. Most organizations do not generate electricity or have operational control of their energy generation; instead, they purchase it from public utilities and other providers. Many organizations are making climate commitments to support the Paris Agreement’s Net-Zero pledge by reducing or offsetting their indirect “Scope 2” greenhouse emissions and promoting the development of more renewable energy and less dependency on fossil-fuel-generated electricity. Renewable energy infrastructure may or may not be available depending on the locations of organizations’ facilities. Understanding the risks and benefits of options such as virtual power purchase agreements and unbundled renewable energy certificates in pursuit of renewable energy is vital to corporations and renewable energy developers. Companies may also need to understand the impact of the location of a renewable energy project and whether it is a significant factor in abating greenhouse gas emissions. The research study assessed the risk of virtual power purchase agreements and unbundled renewable energy certificates. It also involved a case study that explored the impact and significance of the geographical locations of renewable energy on abating greenhouse gas emissions.