Cheers to Renewable Beer

Published On
Jan 17, 2020

World’s Largest Brewing Company Commits to 100% Renewable Electricity

Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), the largest brewing company in the world, plans to purchase 100% renewable electricity to power its 14 breweries in Western Europe, according to an article in Forbes. The brewer set commitments to procure 100% of its purchased electricity from renewable sources and reduce CO2 emissions across its value chain by 25% by 2025, according to its 2025 Sustainability Goals.

This is the largest corporate solar power deal in history, covering over 50 brands brewed and sold across 12 countries, according to an article in Solar Industry Magazine.

To make its 100% renewable electricity brewery operations a reality, AB InBev is working jointly with BayWa r.e., a German company that specializes in the renewables sector. The electricity for the 10-year virtual power purchase agreement will be supplied by two new solar farms being built in Spain, totaling 200 mW (AB InBev will receive 130 mW). BayWa r.e. will provide the funds for the new solar plants that are expected to be online in March 2022. One of the plants, dubbed the Budweiser Solar Farm, will provide 250 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity annually for AB InBev’s breweries, or enough to power nearly 670,000 homes. In the meantime, BayWa r.e. will provide 75 GWh of renewable energy from its wind farm in Zaragoza, Spain.

This is not the brewer’s first venture into renewables. AB InBev secured renewable energy deals for its operations in the United Kingdom and Russia, according to an article in CNBC.

A 15-year power purchase agreement with U.K.-based renewable energy developer Lightsource BP will enable AB InBev to brew Budweiser sold in the U.K. with 100% renewable electricity, the largest unsubsidized renewable solar deal in U.K. history. Lightsource BP will provide 100% of the purchased electricity for Budweiser’s two main U.K. breweries, which brew 17 million bottles and cans each week. The project will bring 100 mW of renewable capacity to the U.K. grid, enough to power 18,000 homes with electricity annually, according to a December 2019 blog post on AB InBev’s website.

By 2020, Budweiser sold in the U.K. will have a renewable electricity symbol on their labels for consumers to identify. Budweiser brewed in the United States is already made with renewable electricity generated from wind power.

In 2019, AB InBev Efes, a subsidiary of AB InBev, signed an agreement with Enel Russia to explore joint opportunities for renewable energy generation, according to a press release from Enel. Enel Green Power currently supplies renewable energy to AB InBev operations in Chile and the United States.

This commitment to green energy makes AB InBev the largest corporate buyer of renewable electricity in the consumer goods industry. The brewer’s global operations are involved in its renewable endeavor, including Australia, China, India, Mexico, Russia, the U.K. and the United States.

About the Author

Marlena Chertock

Freelance Writer

Marlena Chertock is a former editorial intern at Electrical Contractor magazine who now writes for the magazine as a freelance journalist. Her articles have appeared in The Washington Post, Marketplace, NBC News, News21, WTOP and The Gazette. Contact...

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