Report: 72% of corporations want more renewables - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Industrial, Sourcing Renewables  -  June 23, 2016

PwC: 72% of corporate renewable energy leaders are actively pursuing more

A recent survey of U.S.-headquartered businesses, the majority of which have been active in buying renewable energy, revealed that 72% of respondents are actively pursuing additional purchases. 

The appetite among the respondents has grown significantly: 63% of companies have become more inclined to purchase renewable energy in the past six months, according to the survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers. Among those who have made a purchase in the past, an even larger majority — 85% — intend to make additional purchases in the next 18 months. 

Calling the growth in corporate purchases one of the biggest developments in the renewable energy marketplace, PwC said it conducted the survey of 63 "major" commercial and industrial companies, most of which have large energy footprints and have made purchases in the past, to better understand what is driving the growth. 

Not surprisingly, what PwC found was that business interest has been primarly driven by a desire to meet corporate sustainability goals and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; 85% of companies actively seeking more renewable energy cited this reason. Other popular drivers included attractive returns on investment, cited by 76% of respondents, and a desire by companies to limit their exposure to energy price variability, cited by 59% of respondents. 

As for how the companies surveyed plan build out their portfolios of clean power, four-fifths are expect to use multiple types of transactions, an offsite power purchase agreement and an onsite financial investment, for example. The survey also found that while onsite PPAs remain most popular — chosen by 67% of those actively pursuing procurement — more than half, 58%, intend to purchase traditional offsite PPAs, and 30% plan to pursue offsite virtual PPAs. The responses also point to an increase in offsite versus onsite purchases, PwC said in a report outlining the findings. 

Solar was cited by 96% of respondents as the most valuable renewable energy technology to their organization, followed by wind at 69%. Three categories dominated the ancillary technology options: 59% or more chose advanced metering, energy management software, and energy storage.

Among the remaining 28% of companies that are not actively pursuing renewable energy purchases, the lack of a mandate, an unattractive return on investment or payback, and the length of contracts were the top 3 reasons for not moving forward at 61%, 56% and 50% respectively. 

"More than ever, we’re seeing broad efforts by commercial and industrial companies to incorporate significant renewables resources into their energy mix," George Favaloro, managing director at PwC's sustainable business solutions practice said in a June 20 blog post about the survey. "Renewables purchases not only help companies save money and serve as a very visible corporate point of pride – the companies that are making them are helping to drive a transformation for our collective energy system." 

The full PwC report is available here

Tags: PwC

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