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NB: buying green power and / or RECs is _very_ different from investing directly into a renewable energy development.

I would agree with your larger point that there are other (non-financial) sources of return to these investments.

Yes, I agree.. not to say that there isn't direct investment as well, but at a much smaller scale. We built solar farms to power our offices in NJ (50% @ 1.8MW[1]) and San Francisco, but those direct investments only account for 1% of worldwide power usage.

[1]: http://blog.bloomberg.com/2012-03-14/bloombergs-princeton-of...

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