Corporations Outline Buyers’ Principles to Increase Renewable Energy Procurement

Sixty percent of the largest U.S. businesses have set goals to reduce carbon emissions or increase their use of renewable energy. In most cases, these companies are forced to meet their renewable energy requirements through on-site generation, power purchase agreements, or acquisition of renewable energy certificates because of the lack of options provided by their local utility. In response, a group of major U.S. corporations has issued a set of “buyers’ principles” aimed at improving access to a broader range of options for lower cost renewable energy resources.

Key Details

  • Often on-site generation is a higher cost option than utility scale renewable generation
  • There is some movement toward bringing lower cost utility scale renewable power to large customers:
    • North Carolina regulators have recently approved Duke Energy’s Green Source Rider which will allow large customers to pay a premium rate for renewable energy sources built or sourced by Duke Energy
  • The buyers’ principles seek to expand such options by requesting the following from the marketplace:
    • Greater choice in options to procure renewable energy
    • Cost competitiveness between traditional and renewable energy rates
    • Access to longer-term fixed-price renewable energy
    • Access to projects that are new or help drive new projects in order to reduce energy emission beyond business as usual
    • Increased access to third-party financing vehicles as well as standardized and simplified processes, contracts, and financing for renewable energy projects
    • Opportunities to work with utilities and regulators to expand the choices for buying renewable energy
  • Companies agreeing to the principles include Facebook, Walmart, HP, Johnson & Johnson, Sprint, P&G, Bloomberg, Intel, Mars, GM, and REI

Implications

Customers, particularly large corporations with green aspirations, will increasingly drive the demand for renewable options outside of normal resource planning processes. Pressure on regulators from these customers, such as these buyers’ principles, will also open more doors for utilities to offer more tailored and targeted renewable products for their customers. New regulatory models and utility tariffs could support the renewable energy demands of corporate customers and integrate into traditional business models.

More Information

Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles: http://assets.worldwildlife.org/publications/705/files/original/Corporate_RE_buyers_principles_Final.pdf?1404842446

GreenBiz: http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2014/07/11/GM-HP-Walmart-others-demand-simpler-buying-renewables

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Contributing Authors

Paul Quinlan Clean Tech Manager

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