Solar, Wind Power

BNEF says corporate energy market is strong

Coming on the heels of Gap’s announced 90-MW PPA with Enel Green Power, BloombergNEF released its 2H 2019 corporate energy market outlook in which it said that corporations signed contracts to purchase 8.6 GW of clean energy in 2019 through July, up from 7.2 GW at the same time last year.

Overall, 2019 is on pace to be bigger than 2018 for corporate PPAs globally. The U.S. made up 69% of this activity – it is by far the biggest market globally, according to the organization.

BNEF said that companies are once again flocking to Texas – historically the largest corporate procurement market in the country – where 40% of the activity in 2019 has occurred. Companies are signing solar PPAs in ERCOT to take advantage of peak pricing during the hot summer months, which greatly improves the economics on a deal.

Corporations that have committed to 100 percent renewables by joining the RE100 will need to buy an extra 189 TWh of clean power in 2030 to hit targets, according to BNEF. Despite 33 new companies joining the RE100 in 2019 through July, for a total of 191 signatories, BNEF said it forecasts the group collectively facing a shortfall of 189 TWh in 2030 – 1 TWh less than its previous forecast.

Existing RE100 members signed deals for an estimated 7.8TWh of clean electricity, outpacing the demand from new signatories overall. Should these companies meet their 189TWh shortfall through solar and wind PPAs, BNEF estimates it would catalyze an additional 94 GW of renewables build, leading to $97 bn of new investment.

Corporations have purchased just 950 MW of clean energy through PPAs in Europe, Middle East and Africa in 2019. The Nordics, which typically sets the pace for the region, has seen just 300 MW of deals, though several solar PPAs in Sweden are the first of their kind. There is excitement in new European markets like Poland and France, and a groundbreaking deal was signed by an oil and gas company in Oman, but otherwise the region continues to be underwhelming as a whole, said BNEF.

China is on the verge of rolling out game-changing policies for corporate procurement. Policymakers are set to implement two key policies. The first is a renewable portfolio standard, mandating that corporations meet a percentage of their load with renewables. The second is a prosumer model, allowing companies to sell excess generation from their own clean energy projects to neighboring sources of demand. Both mechanisms will create more corporate demand and give companies flexibility in how they procure renewables in China.