A rise in the cost of carbon-based fuels, coupled with an urgency to decarbonise in the wake of the climate crisis, has meant that more organizations are turning to renewable energy. However, switching to renewable energy in an evolving market can be difficult.
Building a successful renewable energy strategy requires a deep understanding of your organisation’s unique needs. These key pillars can be used as a starting point:
Know your energy demand
Your organization should have an understanding of its energy demand, this can then be used to plan green sourcing in line with business objectives.
Understand local markets and global trends
Use a top-down approach which considers the accessibility of renewable energy sourcing products per country, regulatory landscape, price & costs, objectives etc.
Communicate a positive brand image
Your strategy should be achievable in terms of viability and budget. This can be done by leveraging a bottom-up approach to validate the economic and social value of your objectives
Stakeholder engagement to drive net zero
From the start of your project you should actively engage with internal stakeholders to gain early buy-in and project support.
The four main renewable energy sourcing options
Building a renewable energy portfolio to meet the unique needs of an individual organization requires an understanding of each energy sourcing, which can then be used individually or combined option.
Unbundled energy attribute certificates (EACs) allow renewable energy sellers to sell EAC independently from the original source. This option is one of the easiest to risk, however, pricing often lacks transparency
Corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) Allow organizations to procure energy directly from a generator – these often make projects more bankable for companies
Green supply or Green Tariffs provide bundled delivery of electricity and EACs, often considered to be of a higher quality than unbundled energy credits (RECs) because they come from an identifiable source
Onsite renewables are self-owned resources, such as solar, that are generated on the project site
As organizations grow, they will need to continuously reassess strategies to ensure they’re meeting energy demand while benefiting from a greater mix of energy solutions at the best price.
Businesses are sustainable under pressure to build energy strategies to meet the expectations of the business, their stakeholders, and the environment and should therefore ensure that their renewable energy strategies align with broader decarbonisation goals.
Neon Steinecke is Director Sustainability Solutions and Sebastian Hoyos, Director, Renewable Advisory, at ENGIE Impact, which partners with corporations, governments and municipalities to address the transformations necessary to reduce their carbon footprint on their Net Zero journey