From pv magazine USA
Corporations bought a record amount of clean energy in 2020, despite the devastation of the pandemic, with the US market maintaining its lead and new markets driving growth, according to a new report from BloombergNEF (BNEF).
The 2020 figure is up slightly from 20.1 GW in 2019 and more than 10 GW above the 13.6 GW seen in 2018. BNEF noted that the 2020 increase came despite the pandemic, global recession, and uncertainty about US energy policy ahead of the presidential election.
“To not only maintain, but grow, the clean energy procurement market under these conditions is a testament to how high sustainability is on many corporations’ agendas,” said Kyle Harrison, BNEF senior associate and lead author of the report.
BNEF found in its H1 2021 Corporate Energy Market Outlook that clean energy contracts were signed by more than 130 companies in sectors ranging from oil and gas to big tech.
Although the United States was once again the world's largest market, it was less dominant than in previous years. Companies announced 11.9 GW of corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) in the United States in 2020, down from 14.1 GW in 2019. According to BNEF, this represented the first year-on-year drop since 2016. The first half of 2020, coinciding with the start of the pandemic, was particularly subdued, with companies announcing just 4.3 GW of corporate PPAs in the United States during that period.
Latin America also had a down year, with corporate PPA volumes dropping from 2 GW in 2019 to 1.5 GW in 2020. The region was hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic downturn. However, BNEF said companies in Brazil signed a record of nearly 1.06 GW of PPAs in 2020, as many continued to migrate to the country’s free market, where they can sign bilateral clean energy contracts directly with developers.
Once the main draw for corporate procurement in the Latin American region, Mexico saw deal volumes all but dissipate. BNEF claimed this is because the current administration continues to undermine the country’s clean energy sector.
While the U.S. and Latin America slipped back, other corporate procurement markets stepped up.
Corporate PPA volumes in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region nearly tripled, from 2.6 GW in 2019 to a record 7.2 GW in 2020. In Spain, companies announced contracts to purchase no less than 4.2 GW of clean energy, up from 300 MW the previous year.
BNEF said solar and wind projects in Spain yield some of the cheapest and most competitive prices in Europe, thanks to strong natural resources and a large pool of experienced developers. Companies like Total and Anheuser-Busch are orchestrating “cross-border virtual PPAs” in Spain, buying clean energy in the country to offset their load elsewhere in Europe.
Corporations also purchased record clean energy volumes in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, announcing contracts for 2.9 GW of solar and wind. Taiwan established itself as a major corporate clean energy market in 2020, with companies signing PPAs totaling 1.25 GW. BNEF said the Taiwanese market should be supported by a new policy that requires companies with an annual load above 5 MW to buy clean power. Also, the island has a high concentration of large manufacturers, many of which are feeling pressure from their customers to decarbonize.
South Korea is expected to be the next major corporate procurement market in Asia. Policymakers revised the country’s Electric Utility Act in the beginning of 2021, creating a PPA mechanism and a green tariff program with Korea Electric Power Corp. The revision will also allow companies to purchase unbundled certificates and retire them against sustainability commitments. According to BNEF, South Korean companies face similar supply-chain pressures to those in Taiwan.
“More than ever before, corporations have access to affordable clean energy at a global scale,” said Jonas Rooze, lead sustainability analyst at BNEF. “Companies no longer have an excuse for falling behind on setting and working towards a clean energy target.”
BNEF found that Amazon was the leading buyer of clean energy in 2020, announcing 35 separate clean energy PPAs in 2020, totaling 5.1 GW. The company has now purchased more than 7.5 GW of clean energy to date, vaulting it ahead of Google (6.6 GW) and Facebook (5.9 GW) as the world’s largest clean energy buyer. French oil major Total (3 GW), TSMC (1.2 GW) and U.S. telecom Verizon (1 GW) were the next largest corporate buyers of clean energy in 2020.
BNEF said the flow of new companies making clean energy commitments is another indicator of how much more the market can grow, with 65 new companies joining the RE100 in 2020. They vowed to offset 100% of their electricity consumption with clean energy. BNEF forecast that the 285 RE100 members will collectively need to purchase an additional 269 TWh of clean electricity in 2030 to meet their RE100 goals. Should this shortfall be met exclusively with offsite PPAs, it would catalyze an estimated 93 GW of new, incremental solar and wind build.
“Investor interest in sustainability is sky high, with inflows to sustainability-focused funds growing 300% between 2019 and 2020,” explained Harrison. “Companies in all sectors, including hard-to-abate ones like oil and gas and mining, are feeling the pressure to purchase clean energy and decarbonize. This group is only just scratching the surface on the amount of clean energy build it can catalyze.”
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158GW in 2021 around the World is great….. but way way too little to impact Pollution and grow and supply all the Energy the World will need…. about 150TW in 2050 or 180,000TWhrs/yr….
As one can see at the above “record rate” it will take another 1,000 years to reach the Zero Pollution Target around the Globe by 2050…
The World needs to ramp up asap to 5TW/yr (5,000GWe))/yr) for 30 years to create the 150TW System needed around the Globe….
The Demand for Energy is there… the Federal Reserve in US, Reserve Bank of India and other National Banks around the World… should have no problem in supporting this level of investment (~$7Yrillion/yr) over the next 30 years. What is the World waiting for… “counting the beans” and the Dead (~9 Million/yr today), due to Pollution and Suffering (275Million DALY) …????
COVID Victims/Suffering Data will pale against this MASS KILLINGS by the Polluters around the Globe…
Every day delay adds another 25,000 Premature Pollution Deaths as the Suffering continues….
This is the REAL WAR THAT HAS TO BE FOUGHT…. not just COVID or the fear of Inflation, etc… as every penny invested in this 150TW System will be paid back by Electricity/Energy users around the Globe…
In addition, the Conversion from Polluting Energy Sources to Renewable Energy Sources (only AgriVoltsics can do it alone) by the Users will also demand similar response so ALL have Zero Pollution by 2050…. ALL OVER THE GLOBE…
2018 Global electricity use was about 23,000 TWh, about 20% of all power use.
…so 2018 Global power use was about 23,000/0.20 = 115,000 TWh
Rate of use:
2018 electricity: 23,000 TWh / (24 hrs/day * 365 days/year) = 2.63 TW of continuous ELECTRICITY output
2018 power: 115,000 TWh / (24 hrs/day * 365 days/year) = 13.13 TW of continuous POWER output
Ajay Goyal, You stated: “all the Energy the World will need…. about 150TW in 2050 or 180,000TWhrs/yr….”
150 TW supplied continuously over a year = 365*24*150 = 1,314,000 TWhrs/yr
I don’t think my sources or calculations are wrong. I think you might be mistaken.
150TW/13.13TW = 11.42 times as much POWER (= ENERGY RATE) in 30 years.
Well if it is going to be mostly new power, then it will be mostly Solar PV and Wind.
“158GW in 2021 around the World is great” Yep, and still growing exponentially, as cost continues to decline. Bottom of S-curve.
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