Commercial, Industrial, Sourcing Renewables  -  January 28, 2019

Corporations shatter record for clean energy PPAs

Corporations purchased 13.4 gigawatts (GW) of clean power through PPAs in 2018, more than double the 6.1GWs recording in 2017. The PPAs were signed by 121 corporations in 21 different countries, positioning corporates alongside utilities as the biggest buyers of clean energy globally. 

These results were reported by BloombergNEF (BNEF) in its 1H 2019 Corporate Energy Market Outlook, which noted that the increase was driven by “demand from new industries and previously untrodden markets. The report highlighted a wave of smaller corporate energy buyers aggregating their purchases, as well as the first corporate clean energy power purchase agreements in markets such as Poland.

More than 60% of the global activity in 2018 occurred in the U.S., where companies signed PPAs to purchase 8.5GW of clean energy, nearly triple the amount signed in 2017. Facebook led the pack with more than 2.6GW of renewables globally in 2018, primarily through green tariffs. This was three times that of the next biggest corporate energy buyer, AT&T. ExxonMobil became the first oil major to sign a clean energy PPA for its own operations, purchasing 575MW of solar and wind in Texas.

In the U.S. some 34 new companies signed their first clean energy PPAs in 2018, making up 31% of total activity in the U.S. These firms are aggregating their electricity demand to reap the economies of scale from larger solar and wind projects. “The aggregation model has heralded in a new generation of corporate clean energy buyers," said Kyle Harrison, a corporate sustainability analyst for BNEF and lead author of the report. "These companies no longer need to tackle the complexities of clean energy procurement alone. They can share risks associated with credit and energy market volatility with their peers.”

 

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