Here’s What’s Driving Corporate Renewable Purchases

George Favaloro | Managing Director at PwC Sustainable Business Solutions

The growth of the renewable energy marketplace in the last 24 months has been breathtaking.  Billions of dollars have been invested in building renewable generating capacity, which is in turn, lowering costs and creating more demand.

Corporations have taken notice and are starting to think proactively about how the energy they use is being produced and consumed.  More than ever, we’re seeing broad efforts by commercial and industrial companies to incorporate significant renewables resources into their energy mix.  Renewables purchases not only help companies save money and serve as a very visible corporate point of pride – the companies that are making them are helping to drive a transformation for our collective energy system.

To better understand what is motivating corporate renewables purchases – and what’s holding companies back from doing even more – PwC took a survey of the U.S. renewables leaders, the companies that are engaged in the renewables marketplace and are driving corporate renewables purchases, which yielded some interesting findings:

  • The appetite for renewables is growing.  A strong majority of these companies (72%) are planning renewable purchases in the next 18 months and 63% have become more inclined to purchase in the last six months.
  • A small percentage is holding back for multiple reasons. The 28% who aren’t actively pursuing purchases cited the lack of a mandate (61%), an unattractive ROI/payback (56%), and the length of contracts (50%) as the top 3 reasons for not moving forward.
  • The decision is cross-functional. More than 60% said facilities/energy management and sustainability executives are the key decision makers, followed by finance, operations, and procurement who were cited by nearly half of respondents.
  • Sustainability and greenhouse gas emissions goals are the top drivers, as cited by 85% of those companies actively pursuing purchases. Beyond that, 76% are looking to generate an attractive ROI and 59% are focused on limiting exposure to energy price variability.

The companies that are making corporate renewable purchases are playing an increasingly important role in the evolution of the industry – both in terms of their growing share of the market and their increasingly sophisticated needs and procurement approaches.

To view a copy of the full report “Corporate renewable energy procurement survey insights,” click here.

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