Smart Energy Voices- Episode 18
5 Predictions for the Corporate Renewable Energy Market in 2021, with Rob Collier
In light of recent national events, it is a great time to be focused on renewables. In this episode, Rob Collier, Vice President of Developer Relations at LevelTen Energy, provides his five predictions for the Corporate Renewable Energy Market for 2021. LevelTen Energy provides transaction infrastructure for renewable energy buyers, advisors, and sellers. Rob ensures buyers and advisors have access to the latest data on utility-scale renewable energy projects under development. His team also enables developers to have the latest market intel to help them make strategic pricing and development decisions. Prior to joining LevelTen, Rob worked for utility-scale solar developer OneEnergy Renewables as Director of Development. He recently wrote an article outlining his five predictions for the corporate renewable energy market in 2021 and is talking with us about that topic in more detail on this episode of Smart Energy Voices.
You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in...
- The goal of LevelTen Energy. [4:13]
- One of LevelTen’s biggest focus areas right now. [7:18]
- Social justice and renewables procurement. [10:31]
- What buyers are focusing on when it comes to social justice concerns in the industry. [14:28]
- The impact a move toward social justice in renewables will have on diversity and inclusion in the industry. [17:17]
- More companies will become 100% renewable. [20:19]
- More companies committing to reducing their scope 3 emissions. [30:00]
- Storage being added to PPA portfolios. [37:52]
- How the need for speed will be driving innovation. [45:04]
Social justice will be a key consideration in renewables procurement
This year’s events and the resulting protests embodied in the Black Lives Matter movement have sharpened and accelerated the industry’s focus on social justice. Companies within the renewables industry are taking a look at how procurement can move forward in a meaningful, authentic, and impactful way in light of these events. Even before this year, corporate buyers were already recognizing they had the power to influence how projects get developed and ultimately get built. They are looking closer at developers’ practices regarding social justice. Rob breaks this down into three categories in this episode. Listen to hear some of the ways corporations will take social justice into account in 2021.
More companies will aim to be 100% renewable at all times
Another big topic for 2021 that is generating more questions than answers right now is the move to 100% renewable energy. There is a distinction between 24/7 carbon-free and renewable energy — to shift from renewable to carbon-free will bring in the need to look at nuclear biomass storage rather than just the usual talk about wind and solar. Google is a thought-leader in this movement and will be instrumental in the forward momentum of this innovation.
One question raised during this episode centered around how practical it is for small companies to go 24/7 carbon-free. Rob said some of it would be possible but not on the same timeline as the larger companies like Google. However, companies that want to go in that direction will pave a path for others that think 24/7 is the right approach. Either way, Rob believes the goal for all companies should be more renewables, faster — and that companies need to take meaningful action now. Rob’s advice is to just get started and don’t necessarily worry about perfection.
Storage Will Be Added to PPA Portfolios
In 2021, storage will be an important part of the clean energy equation. Corporations will be signing PPAs connected with utility-scale storage projects in addition to their standard wind and solar deals. There have only been a handful of storage deals announced but Rob believes we will see a tight shift in 2021 due to significant cost declines and recognition of the value of storage.
Storage can extend the time of day when corporations can deliver clean energy. By developing storage solutions, companies will be able to deliver energy at those times when their projects are overproducing and discharge that energy at a later time, allowing them to get closer to that 24/7 carbon-free mix. It will not be possible to get to that 24/7 goal without storage — it has to be a big part of that plan.
Resources & People Mentioned
- LevelTen Energy
- Rob’s Article: 5 Predictions for the Corporate Renewable Energy Market in 2021
- 3Degrees, Inc.
- Salesforce’s More than a Megawatt
- Google’s 24/7 by 2030: Realizing a Carbon-free Future
- Renewables Forward Initiative
- LevelTen Q3 PPA Price Index
Connect with Rob Collier
- Follow Rob on LinkedIn
Rob Collier, Vice President of Developer Relations at LevelTen Energy
LevelTen Energy provides transaction infrastructure for renewable energy buyers, advisors, and sellers. At LevelTen, Rob leads the developer relations team, ensuring buyers and advisors have access to the latest data on utility-scale renewable energy projects under development, and that developers have the latest market intel to help them make strategic pricing and development decisions. Prior to joining LevelTen, Rob worked for utility-scale solar developer OneEnergy Renewables as director of development.
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