Corporate Renewable Energy Procurement: A Snapshot of Key Trends, Strategies, and Practices in 2016

The US private sector is mobilizing around clean energy, according to a new report released today by World Wildlife Fund and Corporate Eco Forum.

The report “Corporate Renewable Energy Procurement: A Snapshot of Key Trends, Strategies, and Practices in 2016” draws on insights from 37 companies who are members of the Corporate Eco Forum and/or the Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles. Corporates’ accelerated deployment of renewable energy could play a significant role in the US’ ability to meet emission reductions targets set forth in the Paris Agreement.

Overview of survey findings:

  • Ambition is increasing: More than half of companies surveyed have set a renewable energy target, with approximately half of those targets for 100% renewable energy.
  • Trend Toward Direct Procurement: Companies surveyed are moving from indirect forms of procurement such as unbundled Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to direct procurement, such as offsite Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs)
  • Wind is key to scale, solar is catching up: Wind is the top source of renewable energy, accounting for more than half of total procurement. Solar accounted for more than 20%.
  • Companies want access to offsite PPAs: Companies are pursuing a wide variety of policy instruments to increase access to renewable energy options, but distinctly prioritize access to offsite PPAs. Green tariffs, the newest purchasing option becoming available, made a strong 2nd place showing and is expected to grow.
  • Companies identify priority states:  Companies surveyed have identified California, North Carolina, New Jersey, Texas and Virginia as the highest-priority states for renewable energy policy activities.
  • The specifics of the Clean Power Plan (CPP) are a barrier to engagement: The majority of companies surveyed would like to encourage state-level utilities to design programs that meet their RE procurement needs while complying with the Clean Power Plan, but only a third of surveyed companies feel prepared to speak about the CPP more broadly. A knowledge deficit exists around the CPP and how it will impact corporate RE procurement.