A report released jointly in October by the Corporate Eco Forum (CEF) and the World Wildlife Fund shows that leadership in the corporate world may now be fully engaged in the push for more renewable-energy generation.
“Corporate Renewable Energy Procurement: A Snapshot of Key Trends, Strategies, and Practices in 2016,” examines several factors related to corporations’ procurement of renewable energy. It is based on an in-depth survey of 37 CEF members and Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles signatories.
The study finds that companies are leveraging a range of instruments, including indirect and direct forms of financing, to procure renewables. Unbundled renewable-energy credits and physical power purchase agreements are the most common, with the latter increasing in popularity.
More than half of companies surveyed have set a renewable-energy target, and half of those have a target of 100 percent. Greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets are a key driver of renewable-energy procurement for companies that do not have their own renewable-energy target.
The study finds three factors motivate companies to set a renewable-energy target. Companies want to mitigate climate impact, reduce energy costs and demonstrate corporate leadership. Forty-three percent of companies surveyed have a time-bound target. Of these targets, more than 80 percent are over the short-term (between 2016–2025).
Wind is the most popular form of renewable generation for the companies surveyed, primarily because it has the shortest payback period—usually fewer than six years. Solar photovoltaic are the second most popular source of renewable power.
Respondents report that executives, group presidents and vice presidents determine the strategic direction when it comes to target setting, policies and projects.
Thirty-seven companies representing nine sectors participated in the survey, with combined revenues exceeding $1 trillion.