Top 10 U.S. corporate renewable energy buyers of 2020

At-a-Glance:

Amazon was the number one U.S. corporate buyer of renewable energy in 2020, procuring more than 3.16 GW. Utility-scale solar power also was the most sought-after renewable resource among the country’s major corporations. That’s according to the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), a member-based organization that represents and advocates on behalf of many of the nation’s largest corporate energy purchasers. To learn more, read “Top 10 U.S. corporate renewable energy buyers of 2020.”

Key Takeaways:

  • REBA found that U.S. corporations once again showcased their resolve and commitment to renewable energy with a record-breaking 10.6 GW of contracted capacity.
  • REBA’s group members accounted for 97% of the procurements tracked in 2020. Of the 98 deals reflected in the full report, 72% were for utility-scale solar projects.
  • Amazon is on a path to run on 100% renewable energy by 2025, five years ahead of its original target of 2030.
  • REBA reported that 2020 was the first year that multiple U.S. corporate energy buyers announced procurements including battery storage, aligning with broader industry trends as storage technology becomes more accessible.

Path to 100% Perspective:

Corporate renewable energy trailblazers such as Amazon are reaching and exceeding their clean energy goals. Achieving a zero-carbon power sector will require leveraging a mix of technologies and fuels at different steps along the path to 100%. Investment in innovation is proving that reaching renewable energy goals is possible, practical and affordable.

 

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Shell enters supply deal with Amazon to provide renewable energy

At-a-Glance:

Shell Energy Europe BV has agreed to supply Amazon.com Inc. with renewable energy, which will help the U.S. online retailer power its business completely using clean energy by 2025 which is five years ahead of Amazon’s target. To learn more, read “Shell enters supply deal with Amazon to provide renewable energy.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Shell Energy Europe BV said it will provide the renewable energy from a subsidy-free offshore wind farm constructed off the coast of the Netherlands.
  • According to a press release distributed by Shell, the wind farm will be operated by The CrossWind Consortium, a joint venture between Shell and Eneco.
    • Starting in 2024, Amazon will offtake 250 megawatts (MW) from Shell and 130 MW from Eneco, for a total of 380 MW.
    • “Supplying Amazon with electricity from this offshore wind farm contributes to their net-zero pledge while progressing our own ambition to be a net-zero emissions business by 2050 or sooner,” stated Elisabeth Brinton, Executive Vice President of New Energies at Shell.

Path to 100% Perspective:

Achieving a 100% renewable energy future requires collaboration and innovation to serve organizations and utility partners. Mutually beneficial partnerships, such as the newly established agreement between Shell and Amazon, is an impactful strategy with the potential to accelerate decarbonization. Although costs continue to decline for renewables, the need for ongoing solutions to create flexible, reliable and sustainable grids continues to be the overarching challenge in reaching renewable energy goals.

 

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Amazon Tops The 2020 List Of Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers

At-a-Glance:

Just which companies are the biggest buyers of green energy? In 2020, it was Amazon, which bypassed Google and Facebook. These companies were followed by French oil giant Total, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, and U.S. telecom Verizon. To learn more, read “Amazon Tops The 2020 List Of Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers.” Reading this article may require a subscription. 

Key Takeaways:

  • In its 2021 Corporate Energy Outlook, BloombergNEF reported that more than 130 companies in sectors ranging from oil and gas to big tech have inked clean energy deals and purchased 23.7 gigawatts of clean energy.
  • Amazon entered into 35 power purchase agreements in 2020 and has purchased 7.5 gigawatts of clean energy to date.
  • Sixty-five companies joined the RE100 in 2020, pledging to offset 100% of their electricity consumption with clean energy; there are 280 companies in all.
  • Forty-eight percent of Fortune 500 and 63% of Fortune 100 companies are promising to cut their greenhouse gases and increase their use of renewable energy or improve their energy efficiencies.

Path to 100% Perspective:

More corporations are realizing the benefits of investing in clean energy to expand responsibility, reliability, and flexibility. These companies are setting an ambitious example for others to follow as the path to 100% is seen as possible, practical, and financially feasible. Access to  clean energy resources on a global scale is making it easier for companies to set and work toward clean energy targets.

 

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PepsiCo Pledges to Achieve Net-Zero Carbon Emissions by 2040

At-a-Glance:

PepsiCo Inc. has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040, adding to the growing list of major companies including Amazon.com Inc. that aim to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions a decade ahead of scientists’ guidance. To learn more, read PepsiCo Pledges to Achieve Net-Zero Carbon Emissions by 2040.” Reading this article may require a subscription. 

Key Takeaways:

  • PepsiCo’s goals include curbing absolute emissions across its direct operations by 75% and its Scope 3 emissions by 40% from 2015 levels by the end of this decade. Scope 3 emissions are generated in the supply chain or by customers using their products.
  • Approximately 1,400 businesses have set or pledged to set net-zero emission goals under the Race to Zero Initiative convened by the United Nations, while the Biden administration has vowed to put the U.S. on a path to 100% clean energy by no later than 2050.
  • PepsiCo already announced plans to use renewable electricity across all company owned businesses by 2030 and across all third-party operations a decade later.
  • The emission reduction plan also includes an expansion of the company’s network of “Demonstration Farms,” which provide local farmers with sustainable tools and practices. It’s targeting a reduction in virgin plastic use and more recycled content in packaging as well.

Path to 100% Perspective:

Leaning into ambitious carbon reduction goals will be necessary to make world-wide decarbonization a reality. Global leaders like PepsiCo and Amazon are paving the way to 100% clean energy for the rest of the world through bold and innovative thinking. Integrating renewables, finding the optimal mix of energy for each power system, and looking for ways to improve clean energy practices at every level will accelerate grid decarbonization globally.

 

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Amazon Backs 26 Green Projects in Drive to Renewable Energy

At-a-Glance

Amazon.com Inc. made an announcement in December to say it was backing 26 new wind and solar utility projects around the globe, a massive investment that the company said made it the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy. The retail and technology company said the utility-scale projects, located in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Sweden, the U.K. and the U.S., would have the capacity to produce 3.4 gigawatts of electricity. To learn more, read “Amazon Backs 26 Green Projects in Drive to Renewable Energy.” Reading this article could require a subscription.

Key Takeaways

  • In 2019, Google was the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy and claimed the previous high water mark that year with a 1.6 gigawatt purchase in a single announcement.
  • “Amazon is helping fight climate change by moving quickly to power our businesses with renewable energy,” Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos said in a statement.
  • Amazon has said it aims to power its operations with renewable energy sources by 2025, five years ahead of an earlier target, and to become carbon neutral 15 years later.
  •  Including the new deals, Amazon has backed 127 wind and solar projects, with 6.5 gigawatts of capacity.

Path to 100% Perspective

Ambitious renewable energy goals make headlines every week, with some organizations competing for the title of energy leader. This form of competition is accelerating the path to decarbonization through strategic investments in emerging technologies and innovative ways to integrate renewable energy into business plans and power systems. As more organizations join forces to find solutions designed to decrease carbon emissions, the marketplace and utility sector are able to more easily visualize a renewable energy future on the horizon.

 

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