Corporate sourcing of renewable energy facilitates companies in minimising their carbon footprint, but also to gain an economic advantage thanks to the cost-competitiveness of solar and wind, and respond to consumers and investors that increasingly value sustainability. The public also benefits from the purchase of renewable electricity by corporates, as renewable assets entering the electricity grid displace fossil-fuel generated electrons.
There are a multitude of business models which enable corporates to purchase renewable electricity, with varying levels of complexity, commitment, and cost. One of these is the corporate Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), which is an upfront contractual agreement between a buyer and a seller for the exchange of an amount of electricity from a renewable generator for an agreed price (fixed or market-related) over a specified period of time. The purchase of renewable electricity is validated by the Guarantee of Origin (GO), a certificate demonstrating that a specific amount of renewable energy was produced. The GO may also contain additional information such as the energy source, the start and end date of production in a particular facility, or the location of the installation, among many different attributes. When a consumer uses that renewable energy, the GO is cancelled to avoid double counting and they can claim to have consumed the amount of electricity represented in the GO.
The corporate sourcing market in Europe has taken off over the last few years. Starting in earnest in 2014, the corporate renewable PPA market in Europe has grown to a cumulative capacity of 6.5 GW in 2021. To enable this and further growth, SolarPower Europe has co-founded the RE-Source Platform, a European alliance of stakeholders representing clean energy buyers and suppliers for corporate renewable energy sourcing. The platform pools resources and coordinates activities to promote a better framework for corporate renewable energy sourcing at EU and national level. Corporates are leading the way in maximising the impact of their energy companies. Several companies are seeking to match their electricity demand with clean electricity production on a 24/7 basis.
total of annual contracted renewable energy capacity
grown from 0.6 GW in 2016 to 6.5 GW in 2021
The potential is huge, more than
could be deployed by commercial and industrial prosumers by 2050
Sourcing strategies can be adapted with at least
different ways to source renewable energy
SolarPower Europe’s work on corporate sourcing is coordinated through RE-Source, the European platform for corporate renewable energy sourcing. The RE-Source Platform was founded in Brussels in June 2017 as an alliance of stakeholders representing clean energy buyers and suppliers.
The Platform pools resources and coordinates activities to promote a better framework for corporate renewable energy sourcing at EU and national level. It is run day-to-day by the four founding organisations: SolarPower Europe, WindEurope, RE100, and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. The Platform is steered by a committed group of corporate buyers and developers.
RE-Source aims to increase the number of active corporates using renewable energy sourcing from 100 to 100,000. The platform is designed to allow maximum cooperation and communication between renewable energy buyers and sellers and helps to realise the full potential of renewable electricity sourcing in Europe.