Entry into renewable energy PPAs soared in 2019, with European corporates signing up for 8GW of power supply arrangements. Groups of major corporates such as RE100 (http://there100.org/) advocate for a collaborative, global initiative of influential businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity, to work to increase demand for – and delivery of – renewable energy. Additionally, most energy suppliers now offer green energy tariffs.
As a result more and more businesses are claiming they use 100% green energy, and claim green credentials as a result. There is a clear view that as a result of entering into these arrangements they feel their job is done. But have they achieved net zero ? The answer is NO and they are missing the benefits of genuinely engaging in energy efficiency and sustainability.
The correct order to delivering sustainable energy benefits is:
1st – Minimise energy demand in operations through efficiency measures
2nd – Solve for that reduced demand as much as possible with efficient on-site generation
3rd – Solve for the residual grid demand with green energy
The impact of adopting PPAs can be the reverse, as the organisation commits to buying their full current demand, which means they are effectively blocked from considering operational changes that reduce their energy demand. Reducing consumption is key to reduce emissions and gain business advantage.
Don’t get me wrong, I am an advocate of renewable energy but organisations need to be mindful of whether they are (a) committing too much or too early and (b) whether they have addressed all their efficiency opportunities.
Businesses who are genuinely sustainable should take a close look at their own operations for ways to both reduce consumption AND generate their own low carbon power locally. These measures can take time to deliver, so perhaps the correct approach is to allow room for these savings to work in alongside PPA commitments ? The long term business benefits of embracing this genuinely can become a source of sustainable competitive advantage.
This is the reason Onsite Energy Projects exists – we help businesses implement the full potential of both energy efficiency and on-site generation measures. We recognised the challenge of capex availability and can provide a no-capex, off-balance sheet solution.
If you would like to know more email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 0161 444 9989.
Onsite Energy Projects provides energy savings and energy generation solutions to energy intensive businesses, without capex if required.