A new report published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance this week has revealed corporate procurement levels have shot through the proverbial roof, with 7.2GW worth of clean energy purchased by corporations so far in 2018, smashing what was already a record year in 2017 by the mid-year point.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) highlighted its new 2H 2018 Corporate Energy Market Outlook report to journalists via email last week, revealing the mammoth progress for corporate procurement.
Specifically, already this year corporations around the world have purchased 7.2GW worth of clean energy, surpassing 2017’s 5.4GW which was already a record.
Since 2008, according to BNEF, corporations have signed long-term clean energy Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) worth nearly 26GW.
Interestingly – especially when you take into account the apathy, or downright hostility of the federal government in question – the United States accounted for 60%, or 4.2 GW, worth of all corporate renewable energy procurement over the first half of the year – unsurprisingly, already establishing a record year.
The United States is also home to the largest corporate buyers – led by Facebook with 1.1 GW worth of clean energy purchased so far this year, followed by AT&T with 820 MW, and the fourth-placed aluminium manufacturer Alcoa with 524 MW. Squished into third-place was Norwegian aluminium manufacturer Norsk Hydro with 667 MW.
The top buyers are also clearly representative of new industries Bloomberg highlighted in their report, which includes telecommunications and manufacturing companies. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, “Companies are increasingly working with utilities in regulated markets through special programs known as green tariffs.
At the same time, companies are leveraging aggregation models to pool their electricity demand together, which has opened the door for smaller companies to buy renewable energy.”
While the United States dominates the list of top buyers, 2018 has so far also been a record year for Europe, with companies purchasing 1.6 GW worth of clean energy so far – up from 1.1 GW purchased through the whole of 2017.
And while Alcoa might be a US-based company, the amount of clean energy the company has purchased in Norway and Sweden, when combined with that purchased by Norsk Hydro, accounts for 75% of corporate procurement activity in Europe.
This is activity which, according to BNEF, which is “primarily motivated by the opportunity to lock into a fixed, long-term price for clean energy, rather than sustainability initiatives.”
At least some of the credit for such historic and breathtaking corporate procurement levels must be given to the RE100 initiative, a global collaborative initiative intended to unite and support influential companies around the world committing to 100% renewable energy targets.
With 140 companies committed to the initiative at the time of writing, Bloomberg’s new report reveals that the total amount of renewable electricity consumed by the signatories totals 184 TWh.
Importantly, according to BNEF estimates, for all 140 signatories to meet their renewable energy targets they will need to purchase an additional197 TWh of clean energy which, if met entirely with PPAs, “could catalyze an additional 100 GW of solar and wind build globally.”