Big leap in corporate clean energy purchases in 2018, research shows
The business community has set a new record for levels of procurement in clean energy in 2018, research from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (Bloomberg NEF) has revealed.
Corporates have already beaten 2017’s record 5.4GW of clean energy purchases, with 7.2GW procured so far this year.
Three-fifths of this procurement has come from the US, with Facebook the largest corporate buyer at more than 1.1GW of clean energy.
New industries such as manufacturing and telecommunications are entering the market. Telecoms giant AT&T is the second largest buyer with 820MW, and aluminium manufacturers Norsk Hydro and Alco follow with 667MW and 524MW respectively.
European companies have purchased a record 1.6GW of clean energy this year. Some of the biggest purchasers are seeking to benefit from a fixed, long-term price for energy, Bloomberg NEF claims, rather than further their sustainability objectives.
The rise in corporate clean energy procurement is also attributed partially to an enabling environment in regulated markets helped by green tariffs. Meanwhile, smaller companies have benefited from aggregation models whereby companies pool their electricity demand together, BNEF states.
The rise of solar
The current 140 RE100 signatories consume an estimated 184TWh of electricity cumulatively. Bloomberg NEF estimates they will need to purchase an additional 197TWh of lean energy in order to meet their 2030 renewable energy targets.
If this were to be met entirely with Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), it would spark an extra 100GW of solar and wind installations globally, Bloomberg NEF suggests.
Bloomberg NEF analysts claim that the world now has more than 1TW of wind and solar capacity, a figure that has grown 65-fold since 2000. The second TW is expected to arrive by mid-2023 and will cost 46% less than the first thanks to falling costs, a fall from $2.3trn to around $1.23trn in capital costs.
The current split in capacity if 54% for wind and 46% for solar, although analysts predict solar will soon take over as the world’s dominant green power source.