Raising the bar on corporate ambition: A recap from RE-Source 2018

While the US were enjoying their Thanksgiving holiday last week, over 800 attendees gathered in Amsterdam for the RE-Source 2018 event, Europe’s major corporate renewable energy procurement conference. Hosted by the RE-Source Platform, an alliance of stakeholders representing clean energy buyers, the event was well attended by a range of multinational corporations, renewable energy providers, policy makers and financial & legal firms. The scale and growth of this year’s event was a positive reflection of the growing appetite for corporate clean energy procurements, largely propelled by widely recognised initiatives such as the Climate Group’s RE100 and the WRI’s GHG reporting protocol. As a trusted supply agent of Carbon Offsets & Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), Numerco has continued to follow the development of renewable energy markets and enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about the key trends in the rapidly evolving European Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and Guarantees of Origin (GO) market.

The key take home message from the conference was clear, corporates are willing to advance their environmental targets and commit to renewable energy. Representatives from almost 100 companies signalled their intent by signing a joint declaration, calling on European Policymakers to remove regulatory and administrative barriers to corporate RE procurement. The declaration, signed by companies such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Ikea also appealed for clearer and simpler rules over the ownership of GOs and cross-border renewable energy transactions. European policymakers present at the event assured attendees that the recently passed Renewable Energy Directive will address these concerns, providing regulatory certainty and enabling conditions for clean energy investments.

Research by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) revealed that of the 465 TWh or renewable electricity sourced by corporates in 2017, PPAs were the third most common sourcing model behind unbundled Energy Attribute Certificates (EACs) and self-production installations. Whilst to date the majority of PPAs have taken place in the USA, their rising demand in Europe is compelling. In addition to the climate leadership and brand communication drivers of procuring renewable energy, PPAs can provide corporate customers price certainty, allowing users to hedge against longer term price volatility. GOs are a critical component within this framework, ensuring traceable renewable procurements embedded within PPAs, green tariffs or acquired unbundled from the electricity. The rise in pricings of GOs over the past year is evident of the rising demand for traceable renewable energy procurements across the continent.

Why stop at 100 corporate buyers though…? RE-Source reiterated their ambition on raising 100 active RE buyers to 100,000. Whilst facilitative policies included in the new EU directive aspire to ease access in Europe, procuring renewable energy in emerging economies and other parts of the world remains challenging as the final panel of the conference concluded. RE100 and international commitments continue to grow demand for PPAs and Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) beyond Europe and the US. The expansion of International Renewable Energy Certificates (IRECs) and Tradable Instrument for Global Renewables (TIGRs) provide reliable tracking systems for energy attribute certificates in jurisdictions with no domestic schemes in place.

Numerco are committed to promoting RE-Source’s mission of raising ambition in corporate renewable energy procurements by providing a transparent landscape for energy certificate and carbon offset procurements. As a key agent in the supply chain of IRECs, TIGRs, GOs & REGOs, Numerco has been working closely with over 200 partners in 38 countries worldwide. By providing transparent pricing and marketing material from a diverse range of projects, we offer customised and trusted solutions to help companies achieve their renewable energy goals and promote the development needed to meet the Paris Climate Accord’s goals.

To speak to a member of Numerco’s carbon and renewables team, please contact Gareth Turner at gareth.turner@numerco.com.