Companies in 75 countries sourced 465 terawatt hours of renewable energy in 2017, an amount close to the overall electricity demand of France, according to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) on Thursday.
With the decline in the costs of renewables, corporate demand will continue to increase as companies seek to reduce electricity bills and address sustainability concerns, IRENA said.
The report entitled Corporate Sourcing of Renewables: Market and Industry Trends - is the first global assessment of trends and policies for corporate sourcing of renewables.
The report shows that renewable energy sourcing by private sector companies, made possible with the right policy framework in place, can be a key factor in the world’s pursuit of a sustainable energy transformation in line with the objectives set out in the Paris Agreement.
According to the report, environmental and sustainability concerns, social responsibility and reputation management, and economic and financial objectives are the three primary drivers of corporate sourcing.
The findings of the report show that half of over the 2,400 large companies analyzed are voluntarily and actively procuring or investing in self-generation of renewable electricity for their operations.
Of the companies in the study, more than 200 source at least half of their power from renewables. Electricity self-generation is the most common sourcing model, followed by unbundled energy attribute certificates and power purchase agreements.
"By volume, the majority of renewable electricity was consumed in the materials sector while the highest shares of renewable electricity consumption are found in the financial (24 percent) and information technology (12 percent) sectors. Countries in Europe and North America continue to account for the bulk of corporate sourcing," the report said.
In addition, of the companies analyzed in the report, only 17 percent have a renewable electricity target in place.
By Gulsen Cagatay