Around 13.4 Gigawatt of clean energy contracts were signed by 121 corporations across 21 countries in 2018, BNEF said in its Corporate Energy Market Outlook report published today. This was up from 6.1 GW in 2017 and positions companies alongside utilities as the biggest buyers of clean energy globally.
“Corporations have signed contracts to purchase over 32GW of clean power since 2008, an amount comparable to the generation capacity of the Netherlands, with 86% of this activity coming since 2015 and more than 40% in 2018 alone,” said Jonas Rooze, head of corporate sustainability for BNEF.
More than 60 per cent of the global activity in 2018 occurred in the US, where companies signed PPAs to purchase 8.5 GW of clean energy, nearly triple the amount signed in 2017. Facebook spearheaded a contingent of experienced US corporate energy buyers, purchasing over 2.6 GW of renewables globally in 2018, primarily with utilities in regulated US markets through programs known as 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. Mexico and Brazil also saw growth in corporate procurement, rounding out the 9.1GW of clean energy purchased by companies in the Americas region in 2018.
In the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, still a nascent market for corporate procurement, companies signed a record 2 GW of clean energy PPAs, more than the previous two years combined. Nearly all of this activity occurred in India and Australia, with roughly 1.3 GW and 0.7 GW of clean energy purchased, respectively. Both markets allow companies to buy clean energy at a large scale through offsite PPAs, making them rarities for the region.
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