European Commission endorses corporate renewable PPAs as part of the answer to surging energy prices

Renewables are central to delivering Europe’s energy and climate ambition – reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030. At RE-Source 2021 globally leading businesses from different sectors of the economy underline their commitment to support Europe’s transition to a renewable energy system. This year’s event comes just a day after the European Commission endorsed corporate renewable Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) as part of the answer to surging energy prices. The current price surge will only increase the demand for PPAs as businesses seek to hedge against volatile energy prices.

As corporate sourcing gathers significant momentum, over 700 experts meet in Amsterdam for RE-Source 2021 on 14-15 October. The two-day conference aims to facilitate corporate renewable PPAs by connecting corporate buyers and renewable energy suppliers. Business leaders from a range of sectors will reinforce their corporate decarbonisation pledges and discuss policies needed to take corporate renewable energy sourcing to the next level.

The event comes just a day after the European Commission presented a toolbox to guide EU Member States on how to deal with the current high gas and electricity prices. Electricity prices have reached record levels in many EU countries over the past weeks. The main reason is high gas prices, resulting from the uptake of economic activity post-Covid and supply side constraints.

The European Commission toolbox names PPAs as an important instrument to protect European businesses from volatile market developments. PPAs are typically signed over long periods, guaranteeing corporate consumers a fixed electricity price and hedging against market risks. The Commission encourages Member States to facilitate wider access to PPAs beyond large businesses, including SMEs, including through the aggregation of end-user demand, in compliance with competition rules. Member States should also flank PPAs through matchmaking events, standard contracts and de-risking through InvestEU financial products.

Walburga Hemetsberger, SolarPower Europe CEO, says: “The current energy price crisis demonstrates the urgent need for businesses to invest in reliable, low-cost renewable electricity. The European Commission has recognised the strategic importance of renewable Power Purchase Agreements for the continent and we look forward to the Commission’s additional guidance on PPA frameworks to Member States before 2023. The good news is that PPAs and on-site sourcing is booming in Europe, for yet another record-breaking year. We can go even further and faster by accelerating the development of regulatory frameworks for PPAs, taking enabling measures like standardised contracts and creating incentives for end-users.“

Giles Dickson, WindEurope CEO, says: “The European Commission have singled out PPAs as a key part of their “toolbox” of measures to tackle the current situation in energy markets.  They’ve underlined how PPAs help ensure stable and affordable electricity prices for Europe’s businesses. And they’ve proposed a raft of measures to facilitate PPAs. RE-Source 2021 has them all: matchmaking, experience sharing or standard PPA contracts – RE-Source 2021 is your go-to place if you want to source cheap and reliable renewable electricity.”

Corporate renewable sourcing boom continues

Corporate renewable energy sourcing continues to boom across Europe. Power purchase agreements (PPAs) and on-site sourcing are set for another record year. With months to go, the volume of PPAs signed in 2021 has already surpassed the 3.5 GW signed in 2020, making 2021 the eighth record year in a row. European Commercial and Industrial on-site installations are also enjoying rapid growth, with forecasts showing they could reach a total capacity of 407 GW by 2030. The current surge in energy prices is likely to further increase the demand for corporate renewable PPAs as businesses look to hedge against volatile energy prices.

PPAs are not limited to large corporate electricity consumers. As the European corporate PPA market grows, a more diverse group of organisations is signing PPAs and on-site deals, including cities, SMEs, universities, and state-owned agencies. RE-Source 2021 will showcase their success stories on the second conference day in a session on City Procurement. The RE-Source Platform and RECS International will also release a new report on “Guarantees of Origin and Corporate Procurement Options”, aimed to support these newer buyers.

RE-Source 2021 also demonstrates the continuing innovation of PPAs. Businesses start matching their corporate demand with clean electricity supply on a more granular, hourly basis. 24/7 hourly matching can improve the transparency and accountability of renewable procurement. The 24/7 Task Force, coordinated by the RE-Source Platform and Eurelectric, will present a  white paper exploring how to enable greater adoption of 24/7 matching on the second conference day.

Hannah Hunt, Impact Director at the RE-Source Platform, says: “Corporate demand for renewable electricity remains unbroken. Already before the official start of our RE-Source 2021 event, 210 meetings were held as part of our B2B Matchmaking platform. RE-Source 2021 will show that PPAs are no longer a thing of a few large companies. The work of the RE-Source Platform* increasingly makes them accessible to small and medium sized companies and public organisations. And the recent recommendations from Energy Commissioner Simson will only increase the number of businesses looking to source renewable electricity.”

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