According to a research report recently released by the Clean Energy Buyers Association (CEBA), U.S. companies purchased a record 11.06 GW of clean energy in 2021, and are already on track to surpass that record in 2022. As of the end of April this year, the purchase of clean energy has reached 6.45GW.
Corporate purchases have accounted for 37 percent of new renewable energy capacity additions to the U.S. grid since 2014, according to data recently released by the Clean Energy Buyers Association (CEBA).
Miranda Ballentine, CEO of the Clean Energy Buyers Association (CEBA), said that despite some challenges posed by delays in interconnection queue wait times, supply chain constraints and the recent U.S. Department of Commerce investigation into Southeast Asia’s PV module imports, businesses are increasingly interested in renewable energy. demand continues to grow.
According to the survey, CEBA State of the Market 2022, corporate procurement of clean energy is still outperforming independent energy buyers’ expectations a few years ago.
More than 50 independent energy customers in the U.S. have purchased 11GW of clean energy by 2021, a 32% increase from the record set in 2020, the report said. While large U.S. companies, including Amazon, Meta and Verizon, continued to be the biggest buyers of clean energy, small and mid-sized companies also entered the clean energy market in large numbers last year, Ballentine said.
More than half of the companies buying clean energy projects in 2021 are first-time energy buyers, Ballentine said. According to the report, six of the 17 companies that have announced clean energy purchases so far this year are first-time buyers.
The Clean Energy Buyers Association (CEBA) has observed an increase in collaboration among independent energy buyers, Ballentine said. Last year, a total of 13 companies jointly procured four deals to secure power purchase agreements. She noted that in some cases, like the one led by food manufacturer Mars, the aggregate deal represented the company’s efforts to decarbonize its broader supply chain.
Companies are also starting to work more with utilities, Ballentine noted. She noted that while 75 percent of deals announced in 2021 were in organized wholesale energy markets, the proportion of projects outside those markets last year was the highest since 2018.
Ballentine said the growing pressure on companies to reduce their carbon footprint meant that demand for clean energy was likely to continue to grow.
“So we’re very optimistic, but we know any mature market is going to see some challenges,” she said.
For buyers of renewable energy, current challenges include a growing mismatch between supply and demand for clean energy. According to this hook report from the Clean Energy Buyers Association (CEBA), energy customers are facing long-term delays in interconnection queues, particularly in the market areas of PJM Interconnect in the U.S. and the Independent System Operator in the U.S. Mid-Continent, both of which The size of the energy transactions to date accounted for 22% and 13%.
The Clean Energy Buyers Association (CEBA) claims that uncertainty stemming from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s investigation into imported PV also influences buyers’ decisions, as PV systems are the primary technology choice for independent power transactions, accounting for mega deals announced through 2021 77%.