A group of some of the world’s biggest multinational companies including Google, Amazon and Unilever have jointly called on the EU member states to support a binding target of “at least” 35 per cent renewable energy by 2030.
In an open letter published yesterday, more than 50 companies said the post-2020 Renewable Energy Directive – details of which are currently under consideration in Brussels – had a key role to play in “unlocking the potential” of corporate Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) which they said “remain largely untapped in Europe”.
PPAs act as a contract between the energy buyer and the producer to purchase electricity at a pre-agreed price for a pre-agreed period of time, either from existing renewable power supplies or to help fund a new-build renewable project.
Such agreements have become increasingly popular among larger companies in recent years, as they enable energy-hungry firms to secure a supply of clean electricity at a competitive price, according to the letter, as well as providing financial certainty for renewable energy suppliers.
The letter – convened by WindEurope, Solar Power Europe, RE100 and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) together as the ‘RE-Source Platform’ – argues that “a strong investment signal is key to further positioning industries with large investment potential in supporting Europe’s clean energy goals”.
It also urges member states to lift all barriers to the development of corporate renewable PPAs, including ensuring an effective Guarantee of Origin system to demonstrate precisely where green electricity derives from.
“In the last two months alone, more than 1GW of capacity was contracted, with corporate buyers capitalising on ever more competitive renewable energy technologies,” the letter states. “Corporate renewable PPAs therefore contribute to achieving national renewable energy ambitions, bringing forward billions of euros of investment, unlocking innovation and new business models.”
The letter comes ahead of next week’s EU Energy Council meeting on December 18 and 19, at which the Directive is set to be discussed.
Other signatories of the letter include IKEA, BT, Microsoft and Philips, as well as numerous key names active in the renewables sector such as Siemens Gamesa, Orsted, Centrica, Enel, Vattenfall, Iberdrola and First Solar.
“We urge you to ensure that the Renewable Energy Directive empowers our organisations to continue developing the business models that will drive the energy transition to the next level,” the letter concludes.