New research by Bloomberg New Energy Finance Limited (BloombergNEF) indicates that corporations bought a record amount of clean energy through power purchase agreements (PPAs) in 2018, shattering the previous record set in 2017.
According to BloombergNEF’s recently released 1H 2019 Corporate Energy Market Outlook, roughly 3.4 Gigawatts (GW) of clean energy contracts were signed by 121 corporations in 21 different countries in 2018 – up from 6.1GW in 2017.
The United States led the world in clean energy PPAs in 2018, purchasing 8.5GW of clean energy, nearly triple the amount in 2017.
Social media giant, Facebook, held the top corporate spot globally and purchased over 2.6GW of renewables in 2018, which was three times as much as the next biggest energy buyer, AT&T and more than the entire Asia-Pacific region combined.
Companies in the Asia-Pacific region signed a record 2GW of clean energy PPAs last year, with Australia and India leading the charge in the region.
It is important to note, however, that the statistics only account for direct PPA agreements between electricity generators and large businesses that want to buy their energy directly. They do not include agreements where the power is generated, then fed into the grid and delivered to the client via a third party (the energy retailer) which affects the true total of PPAs in Australia.
Clean Energy Council Chief Executive, Kane Thornton, said it is fantastic to see the growth in companies securing renewable energy directly.
“Clean energy PPAs support the construction of major solar and wind projects in our industry while taking the volatility out of managing power bills – it’s a win for everyone involved,” he said.
“I’m pleased to see the momentum isn’t slowing down either. This year has started strong, and the University of New South Wales, for example, is on track to be completed powered by clean energy through an agreement with Chinese firm Maoneng, purchasing power from its Sunraysia solar farm in the state.”
ExxonMobil became the first oil major to sign a clean energy PPA for its own operations, purchasing 575 Megawatts (MW) of solar and wind in Texas.