The market for corporate sourcing of renewable electricity reached 465 TWh in 2017 and spread across 75 countries, according to a report released on Thursday by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
Corporate demand for renewable power is expected to keep growing as companies want to reduce electricity costs, protect against price increases and pursue sustainability objectives. According to IRENA, with the right framework in place, corporate sourcing of renewables can be a key factor in achieving the Paris Agreement goals.
“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,” said IRENA director-general Adnan Z Amin.
The figure of 465 TWh, which is close to France’s electricity demand, represents about 3.5% of electricity consumption in the commercial and industrial sector and 18.5% of renewable electricity consumption in the sector, which accounts for around two-thirds of global electricity demand.
According to the report, the most common sourcing model is electricity self-generation, followed by unbundled energy attribute certificates (EACs) and power purchase agreements (PPAs). The materials sector consumed the highest volume of renewable electricity, while the financial and information technology sectors had the highest shares of renewable electricity consumption, 24% and 12%, respectively. By region, Europe and North America continue to lead the corporate sourcing trend.
Of the more than 2,400 companies analysed in the report, half are voluntarily and actively procuring or investing in self-generation of renewable power. More than 200 source at least 50% of their electricity from renewables.