India leads region as volume of corporate clean energy smashes record

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From pv magazine International.

The 1.3 GW of clean energy secured by Indian businesses under private PPAs last year, was the highest figure seen across the Asia-Pacific region and almost double the volume procured in the second biggest market.

The majority of that bumper figure – some 850 MW – was generated during the first six months of 2018, due to the impending end of a state subsidy, said analysts at BloombergNEF who yesterday announced global figures for corporate clean energy procurement.

A further 450 MW was added in India from the start of July despite opposition from state distribution companies to the provision of open access to clean energy by corporate customers based away from generation sites. With 280 MW of the second-half corporate deals seen in India last year provided on an off-site, open access basis, the share such arrangements made of overall corporate energy deals fell from 95% in the January-to-July period to 62% thereafter, according to BloombergNEF.

With the amount of corporate clean energy bought more than doubling worldwide on 2017 figures, Australia was Asia-Pac’s number two market, with some 700 MW of deals signed.

BloombergNEF analysts announced global businesses last year smashed the record for clean energy power purchase agreements.

With corporates having bought 6.1 GW of clean energy through PPAs in 2017, Bloomberg researchers said that figure more than doubled to 13.4 GW last year, with the U.S. leading the way.

And it was not just the usual suspects that dominated, with the authors of today’s 1H 2019 Corporate Energy Market Outlook report finding 34 new businesses signed their first clean energy PPA last year, to account for around 31% of the 8.5 GW purchased in the U.S. In many cases, new converts joined forces with bigger concerns who acted as ‘anchor tenants’ on green energy supply deals.

With the amount of U.S. corporate clean energy secured through PPAs almost trebling year on year, Facebook led with more than 2.6 GW – mostly in the form of green tariffs agreed with utilities – and bought more than three times the clean energy of its nearest peer AT&T.

ExxonMobil became the first oil major to sign a clean energy PPA in the country as it signed up for 575 MW of wind and solar power in Texas.

China RPS holds the key

The Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) market may have been the world’s second biggest, with a total 2.3 GW in 2018, but the authors of today’s report highlighted the potential of the “imminent passing of a renewable portfolio standard [RPS]” in China to transform the nascent, 2 GW Asia Pacific corporate PPA market.

The 2 GW seen in 2018 in the Asia-Pacific region was more than that bought by businesses in the previous two years and was led by India.

With off-site PPAs now available to business in nine provinces of China – according to BloombergNEF – the renewable requirement linked to the green certificate trading scheme recently mentioned by the Chinese authorities could, say the authors of today’s report, see around 30,000 large commercial and industrial concerns in China aiming to achieve renewable energy targets. With a rise in renewable energy target activity seen in Japan last year, the Asia-Pac region could be the one to watch this year.

A first for Poland

The EMEA market for corporate PPAs also more than doubled, from 1.1 GW in 2017, with wind power in the Nordic nations of Europe again prominent and aluminum manufacturers Norsk Hydro and Alcoa Corp leading the way. Big tech companies Facebook, Amazon and Google, however, also contributed in 2018.

And with the French and German markets showing promise for this year, the U.K. saw a return of activity following a lull caused by the end of its FIT subsidy program, Denmark and Finland saw their second corporate clean energy PPAs signed, and Polish companies made their debut.

BloombergNEF, in a statement announcing publication of the report added, the RE100 campaign to persuade signatory businesses to commit to 100% renewable energy could see 102 GW of new solar and wind capacity installed worldwide by 2030 in order for member companies to hit their targets.

This article was amended on 29/01/19 to expand the information given about the Indian market.