Global stocktake of corporate renewable energy use underway

8th June 2017


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Author

Stuart Huth

A project to map businesses around the world who voluntarily buy renewable energy has been launched by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

The agency is surveying businesses about their purchasing of renewable energy, whether in the form of making direct investments in renewable energy, signing corporate power purchasing agreements or buying renewable energy certificates.

It will use the results to create a global index which will recognise companies sourcing renewables, highlight latest trends and provide recommendations to accelerate the trend.

Initial work by the agency has identified changing trends in corporate renewable energy sourcing. Many companies outside the energy sector are using renewable energy for reasons beyond corporate social responsibility, with procurement decisions based on costs, profitability and security of supply.

IRENA director general Adnan Amin said: ‘These achievements from companies around the world are only the beginning of what companies can do to help accelerate the energy transition.

‘As this trend continues, global interest in identifying and removing market barriers and sharing best practices, both in the public and private sectors, will only grow. By mapping out global efforts and potential for corporate sourcing in decarbonising the global energy mix, the REmade Index is designed to do just that,’ he said.

IRENA has already surveyed its 150-country membership and found that while many wish to facilitate the voluntary demand for corporate sourcing of renewables and recognise its potential, policy does not sufficiently take into account the needs and drivers for companies to invest in renewables.

Michael Terrell, head of energy policy at Google, said: ‘Since our first power purchase agreement in 2010, Google has signed 20 different renewable energy purchasing deals in five countries totaling 2.6GW. However, we're not yet able to purchase renewable energy everywhere we have significant operations, as we are limited by policy and regulatory hurdles in some markets.’

IRENA’s project should help unlock markets for corporate renewable energy sourcing, he added.

IRENA’s survey is available here.

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