Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions - February 2, 2022
Corporate Clean Energy Buying Passes 30GW
Corporations bought a record 31.1 gigawatts of clean energy through PPAs in 2021, up nearly 24% from the previous year’s record of 25.1 GW according to a report by research firm BloombergNEF (BNEF).
Over two-thirds of this purchasing or 65% occurred in the U.S. and over half of the deals were signed by the largest technology companies.
Clean energy contracts were publicly announced by more than 137 corporations in 32 different countries in 2021, according to BNEF’s 1H 2022 Corporate Energy Market Outlook. Total signed volumes were equivalent to more than 10% of all the renewable energy capacity added globally last year.
“It is no longer a matter of whether corporate clean energy procurement will grow each year, it’s a matter of how much,” said Kyle Harrison, Head of Sustainability Research at BNEF in a statement. “More corporations are making new sustainability commitments, costs for renewables are plummeting and regulators around the world are slowly coming around to the fact that clean energy might be a silver bullet in the decarbonization of the private sector.”
The Americas accounted for two-thirds of the activity, with 20.3 GW of PPAs announced, led by the U.S., at 17GW. The virtual PPA continues to dominate the U.S. market, with 12GW of deals, but green tariffs with regulated utilities also experienced a record year, at 3.2GW. Europe saw a record 8.7GW of deals announced, with big years from Spain and the Nordics. Across Asia, just 2GW of PPAs were announced, but there were a number of other developments.
Technology companies were the largest corporate clean energy buyers in 2021. For the second year in a row, Amazon was the biggest buyer globally, announcing 44 offsite PPAs in nine countries, totaling 6.2GW. Microsoft and Meta have the next largest among corporations, at 8.9GW and 8GW, respectively. Previously, Google held the corporate clean energy crown but has turned its attention more to sourcing 24/7 carbon-free power through methods outside of PPAs.
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