Tech giants lead record-breaking clean energy purchases in 2018

13th August 2018


Web facebook istock 458657417

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Energy ,
  • Technology ,
  • Renewable

Author

John Anderson

Global corporations like Facebook and Microsoft have purchased an unprecedented 7.2GW of clean energy so far this year, shattering the previous record of 5.4GW for the whole of 2017.

That is according to new data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), which shows that technology firms have been the biggest corporate buyers of clean energy this year, purchasing around 1.8GW.

Facebook leads the way on 1.1GW, followed by AT&T on 820MW, with the US and Nordic countries accounting for nearly 80% of purchases across 28 markets.

BNEF said the high levels of activity were thanks to the promise of long-term savings, with PV module costs down 84% globally since 2010, and wind turbine costs down 32%.

“Taken together with efficiency improvements, these cost declines have made renewables cost-competitive with wholesale power prices and more traditional sources of electricity,” BNEF said.

“As a result, we’re seeing corporations locking into fixed, long-term clean energy contracts, hedging against volatile prices in the wholesale market.”

The top 10 corporate buyers of clean energy this year are shown below:

Although dominated by large corporations, BNEF said smaller US firms are also increasingly pooling their electricity demand together to access the economies of scale achieved through larger solar and wind projects.

In the Nordics, companies are attracted to strong wind resources and the Nord Pool power market, which allows for electricity to be bought, delivered and sold between Sweden and Norway.

BNEF forecasts growth to continue, but said RE100 companies pledging to source 100% of electricity from renewables would need to buy an additional 197TWh of clean energy in 2030 to reach their targets.

Were this shortfall met with long-term contracts for new solar and wind projects, it would lead to an additional 100GW of capacity – slightly larger than California’s entire electricity grid today.

“As more multi-nationals establish renewables targets, we expect corporations to have an increasing impact on power market design around the world, opening up new avenues for companies to purchase clean energy,” BNEF said.

Graphic credit: BNEF Image credit: iStock

Subscribe

Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.


Transform articles

Swing voters show strong support for renewables

There is strong support for renewable energy as a source of economic growth among UK voters, particularly among those intending to switch their support for a political party.

16th May 2024

Read more

A project promoter’s perspective on the environmental challenges facing new subsea power cables

3rd April 2024

Read more

The UK’s major cities lag well behind their European counterparts in terms of public transport use. Linking development to transport routes might be the answer, argues Huw Morris

3rd April 2024

Read more

Tom Harris examines the supply chain constraints facing the growing number of interconnector projects

2nd April 2024

Read more

The UK government’s carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) strategy is based on optimistic techno-economic assumptions that are now outdated, Carbon Tracker has warned.

13th March 2024

Read more

The UK government’s latest Public Attitudes Tracker has found broad support for efforts to tackle climate change, although there are significant concerns that bills will rise.

13th March 2024

Read more

A consortium including IEMA and the Good Homes Alliance have drafted a letter to UK government ministers expressing disappointment with the proposed Future Homes Standard.

26th February 2024

Read more

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

13th February 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close