Corporate demand for renewable energy is no longer a fringe issue talked about on the sidelines of the clean energy industry — it is a mainstream phenomenon, and growing quickly.
As of 2016, 71 companies out of the Fortune 100 had set a clean energy or sustainability target, and these companies aren’t just talking the talk. By mid-2018, corporate buyers had signed contracts for over 11 gigawatts (GW) of projects since 2014, and put in hundreds of installations onsite.
What’s available today? Utility renewable energy offerings start with renewable energy certificate (REC) purchase programs. These programs charge customers a set price per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in exchange for matching a portion of the customer’s use with RECs, which represent the renewable attributes separate from the electricity produced. They’re a valuable tool for residential and small business customers but are not well suited to the large C&I crowd, which is seeking greater value, clearer impact and the opportunity to hedge energy costs and even save money, in exchange for making a longer commitment and accepting more complexity or risk.