Corporate clean power buying hits record high

13th February 2024

Global corporations such as Amazon and Google purchased a record 46 gigawatts (GW) of solar and wind energy last year, according to BloombergNEF (BNEF).

That is 12% more than the previous record of 41GW in power purchase agreements (PPAs) made in 2022, with European corporations announcing a 74% increase to 15.4GW – by far the largest growth of any region.

More than half of the deals announced in Europe last year were in the UK, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands, largely thanks to an easing of supply chain woes and gas balances normalising following the energy crisis the previous year.

While the US remained the largest market for PPAs, with 17.3GW of deals announced, this was down 16% from the record 20.6GW in 2022.

For the fourth year straight, Amazon was the world’s largest corporate clean energy buyer among a group of over 200 companies tracked by BNEF, followed by Meta, LyondellBasell and Google.

“It has never been easier to buy clean energy as a corporation,” said Kyle Harrison, head of sustainability research at BNEF. “For the first time, a variety of contracting structures are now widely available around the world to help companies decarbonise their energy consumption.

“These contracts are now the centerpiece in many companies’ sustainability strategies, rather than a nice-to-have.”

According to BNEF, corporations have announced PPAs for 198GW of solar and wind since 2008 – greater than the power generation capacity of countries like France, the UK and South Korea. See below:

The market has grown 33% on average since 2015, and catalysed hundreds of billions of dollars of investment into the energy transition, with 2023 marking the seventh year that the corporate PPAs have reached a new high.

Amazon announced 8.8GW of PPAs across 16 countries last year, and the company’s clean energy portfolio totals 33.6GW, which is greater in size than the power generation fleets of markets like Belgium and Chile. See below:

French utility provider Engie sold the most clean energy to corporations through PPAs last year, representing 2.4GW, followed by AES, which completed 1.9GW of deals.

BNEF estimates that companies with 100% clean energy targets as part of the RE100 initiative will need an additional 105GW of solar and wind by 2030. This number is far larger when looking at all companies.

“With the rise of artificial intelligence, electrification of transport, and increased need for manufacturing, we expect power demand from the private sector to surge in the coming years”, Harrison said.

“Clean energy, especially through PPAs, will likely be many companies’ first, best option.”

Image credit: Shutterstock

Graphic credits: BNEF


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