Commercial, Industrial, Sourcing Renewables  -  August 21, 2019

C&Is set new record for renewables purchases

Solar and wind purchases by some of the nation’s largest commercial and industrial (C&I) entities set a new record in 2018 and the activity is continuing to advance. 

According to a just-released report from Wood Mackenzie and American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), 85 GW of renewable energy demand exists within the largest U.S. companies through 2030 and corporate leaders such as AT&T, General Motors and Facebook contracted more than six gigawatts (GW) of power purchase agreements (PPAs) in 2018 alone, a new high. 

Facebook was the leading purchaser of renewables through last year. It had 2.2 GW under contract, 24 PPAs, and a 14.1% market share for MW. It was followed by Google, with 2.1 GW under contract, 15 PPAs and 13.7% market share for MW. In third was Amazon with 1.1 GW under contract, 14 PPAs and a MW market share of 7.3%. Filling out the top 10 was: AT&T, Walmart, Apple, Microsoft, Exxon Mobile, Equinix, and Zotos International.

According to the report, Analysis of Commercial and Industrial Wind Energy Demand in the United States, the U.S. is at the beginning of a corporate renewable energy procurement boom, driven by highly competitive renewable project economics as well as efforts to help mitigate climate change. 

Despite the uptick in renewables procurement over the past five years, only about 5% of Fortune 1000 companies have renewables in their power mix, representing an enormous opportunity. 

“In the absence of a federal mandate to decarbonize the U.S. power grid, corporates are stepping up their efforts to address climate change,” said Dan Shreve, head of wind research at Wood Mackenzie and lead author of the report. “Momentum is building, peer pressure is rising, and corporate renewable energy procurement practices are maturing, setting the stage for increased market participation within the Fortune 1000.”

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