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Business doubles down on clean energy in 2018

With companies looking for clean ways to both keep the lights on and cut their power bills, more and more are now recognising the value of buying renewable energy.

New figures from Bloomberg New Energy Finance show that businesses doubled down on renewables in 2018, buying more than twice as much compared to the year before.

Corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) jumped from the 6.1 GW purchased in 2017 to 13 GW in 2018, with most of the action coming from solar and wind power. The United States led the world in PPAs, adding 8.5 GW to be specific. Social media giant Facebook holds the number one spot globally, purchasing 2.6 GW of clean energy alone – more than the entire Asia-Pacific region combined.

Australia and India led the charge in region, but an important clarification is that the statistics only account for direct PPA agreements between electricity generators and big businesses that want to buy their energy directly. They do not include agreements where the power is generated, then fed into the grid and delivered to the client via a third party – the energy retailer – affecting the true total of PPAs in Australia.

Clean Energy Chief Executive Kane Thornton said it is fantastic to see the growth in companies securing renewable energy directly.

“Clean energy PPAs support the construction of major solar and wind projects in our industry while taking the volatility out of managing power bills – it’s a win for everyone involved,” he said.

“I’m pleased to see the momentum isn’t slowing down either. This year has started strong, and the University of New South Wales for example is on track to be completed powered by clean energy through an agreement with Chinese firm Maoneng, purchasing power from its Sunraysia solar farm in the state.”

In just over a decade, corporations around the world have signed on to purchase over 32 GW of renewable power, an amount that is comparable to the generation capacity of the Netherlands.

To read more about PPAs at home and abroad, take a look at a piece we published last year that explores them further.