11 June 2018 2018 09:39 AM GMT

Corporate Sourcing of Renewables Growing, Taking Place in 75 Countries

Companies in 75 countries actively sourced 465 terawatt hours (TWh) of renewable energy in 2017, an amount close to the overall electricity demand of France, according to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). With the continued decline in the costs of renewables, the report suggests, corporate demand will continue to increase as companies seek to reduce electricity bills, hedge against future price spikes and address sustainability concerns.

Corporate Sourcing of Renewables: Market and Industry Trends, the first global assessment of trends and policies in corporate sourcing of renewables, shows that renewable energy sourcing by private sector companies, made possible with the right policy framework in place, can be a key factor in the world’s pursuit of a sustainable energy transformation in line with the objectives set out in the Paris Agreement.

According to the report, environmental and sustainability concerns, social responsibility and reputation management and economic and financial objectives are the three primary drivers of corporate sourcing.

“Renewable energy sourcing has become a mainstream pillar of business strategy in recent years,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin. “While environmental concerns initiated this growing trend, the strengthening business case and price stability offered by renewables can deliver a competitive advantage to corporations, and support sustainable growth.”

The findings of the report, presented today at the Ninth Clean Energy Ministerial in Copenhagen, show that half of the over 2,400 large companies analysed are voluntarily and actively procuring or investing in self-generation of renewable electricity for their operations. Of the companies in the study, more than 200 source at least half of their power from renewables. Electricity self-generation is the most common sourcing model, followed by unbundled energy attribute certificates (EACs) and power purchase agreements (PPAs).

“Corporations are responsible for around two-thirds of the world’s total final electricity demand, making them central to, and key actors in, the energy transformation,” continued Mr. Amin. “As governments all over the world recognise this vast potential, the development of policies that foster and encourage corporate sourcing in the electricity sector and beyond will inject additional needed investment in renewable energy.”

The report finds that the corporate sourcing trend is widespread and dynamic, with companies participating in the practice coming from various sectors. By volume, the majority of renewable electricity was consumed in the materials sector while the highest shares of renewable electricity consumption are found in the financial (24 per cent) and information technology (12 per cent ) sectors. Countries in Europe and North America continue to account for the bulk of corporate sourcing.

Of the companies analysed in the report, only 17 per cent have a renewable electricity target in place. Three-quarters of those targets will expire before 2020, representing a significant opportunity for corporates to develop new medium to long-term renewable energy strategies and targets that factor in improvements in renewable energy technology and cost declines

The report is a contribution to the Clean Energy Ministerial “Corporate Sourcing of Renewables” campaign, co-led by China, Denmark and Germany and co-ordinated by IRENA. View and download the Executive Summary of the report here.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is an intergovernmental organisation that supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future, and serves as the principal platform for international cooperation, a centre of excellence, and a repository of policy, technology, resource and financial knowledge on renewable energy. IRENA promotes the widespread adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy, including bioenergy, geothermal, hydropower, ocean, solar and wind energy in the pursuit of sustainable development, energy access, energy security and low-carbon economic growth and prosperity.

With a mandate from countries around the world, IRENA encourages governments to adopt enabling policies for renewable energy investments, provides practical tools and policy advice to accelerate renewable energy deployment, and facilitates knowledge sharing and technology transfer to provide clean, sustainable energy for the world’s growing population.

September 20th 2018
Battery Boom: Wind And Solar Can Generate Half Of Worldwide Electricity By 2050

Coal is to shrink to just 11% of global electricity generation by mid-century, from 38% now, as costs shift heavily in favour of wind, solar and batteries. Wind and solar are set to surge to almost “50 by 50” – 50% of world generation by 2050 due to reductions in cost. “Cheap battery storage means that it becomes increasingly possible to finesse the delivery of electricity from wind and solar so that these technologies can help meet demand even when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. The result will be renewables eating up more and more of the existing market for coal, gas and nuclear.”

August 29th 2018
E-Buses to Surge Even Faster Than EVs as Conventional Vehicles Fade

The electrification of road transport will move into top gear in the second half of the 2020s, thanks to tumbling battery costs and larger-scale manufacturing, with sales of electric cars racing to 28%, and those of e-buses (electric buses) to 84%, of their respective global markets by 2030. As the supply of cobalt emerges as a potential risk to the pace of growth in electrified transport over the next few years, the advance of e-buses will become more rapid than for electric cars, BNEF states.

September 19th 2018
EU Supports Denmark’s Drive Towards 50% Energy Sourcing From Renewables By 2030

The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules, three schemes to support electricity production from wind and solar in Denmark in 2018 and 2019. The Renewable Energy Directive established targets for all Member States’ shares of renewable energy sources in gross final energy consumption by 2020. For Denmark, that target is 30% by 2020. Furthermore, Denmark has a goal of supplying 50% of its energy consumption from renewable energy sources by 2030 and to become independent from fossil fuels by 2050. All three schemes aim to contribute to reaching those targets.

October 12th 2018
EES & IBESA Summit France 2018: Storage Industry Setting A Course For The Future

The ees & IBESA Summit in Strasbourg is the main meeting point for the battery and energy storage industry in France. On October 24, 2018, European manufacturers, service providers, project developers, systems integrators and research institutes will come together in Alsace to make transnational contacts. Supported by ees Europe, the continent’s largest and most visited exhibition for batteries and energy storage systems, and the International Battery and Energy Storage Alliance (IBESA), summit participants will discuss the latest topics and trends, and develop new business models and visions for the new energy future.

September 29th 2018
IRENA: Innovation Front and Centre, As Leaders Shape the Future Energy System

Participants from more than 80 countries explored the disruptive innovations in digitalisation and decentralisation that are transforming energy systems around the world. Remarkable cost reductions driven by technological innovation and an increasingly conducive policy environment have made renewable energy increasingly competitive with conventional fuels in many parts of the world. In parallel, innovations such as the Internet of Things, blockchain, artificial intelligence, smart charging of electric vehicles, and hydrogen power and storage are making energy systems increasingly integrated and flexible and are supporting the transition to a renewable-powered future.

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