News & Stories

Clean & Green: The New Energy of Choice

A Global Focus Area

Renweable energy sector growth has long been in evidence around the world, with Germany and the United Kingdom market-leaders in Western Europe, plus technology innnovators such as Japan and lately Korea pioneering in the East. 

Ass to this mix the emergying capabilities and capacities of both China- described by Tesla CEO Elon Musk as "easily" capable of supporting iteself on homegrown solar - and India, and the clean and green megatrend can be seen gathering global momentum. 

According to Roberto Zanchi, Technicaly manager, Renewable Energy at CDP, increasingly hard-headed attittudes towards uptake suggest a maturing and mainstreaming of the market. 

"For business, reneweable energy has become a matter of corporate strategy and finance, as much as about sustainability," he says. "Unitl recently, the renewable energy market offered limited choice, but that is changing. From investments in own projects to Power Purchas Agreements, to renewable energy certificates, there are more procurement options than ever before for companies switching to clean energy. 

Overcoming Challenges

The contract side of things has proves a stumbling block, says Goehring, not least for the C&I sector, where demand for short lease periods is high, with flexibility a post-recession priority. 

"Typically, if you are buying on a Power Purchase Agreement, you are looking at 10 years or more - that is a long-term commitment for many institutions, rather thanjust simply buying energy n the spot market" Goehring says. 

"We are seeing more procurement of off-site resources for energy, where companies are taking a financial stake in say a wind farm and recieving the environmental attributes and green credits, but maybe not the energy itself."

Tech Leads the Way

The tech giants have features strongly among the early adopters, with Facebook and Microsoft buying into clean energy to fuel their power-hungry data centers. The biggest of the bunch is Google, the largest corporate purchaser of clean energy on the planet, which made its first foray into wind farms in 2010 and continues to accumulate dozens of renewable power investments. 

All three corporations are among the 60 multinational particpating in a new network, the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliances, which aims to help corporations purchase 60GW of additional renewable energ in the United States by 2025.

Taking matters one step further, the worlds most profitable company Apple will even be selling of excess solar energy generated on its new Cupertino campus in California. 

The tech giants are far from being alone. The latest report from the We Mean Business RE100 campaign suggests up to 3000 companies could go 100 percent renewable by 2030 with potential for 4.5 to 5.7 billion tons of greenhouse gas emission reductions. 

A Convincing Business Case

More companies are making green part of their long-term strategy, investing in clean and green power to insure themselves against pol and gas market volatility, as well as cutting CO2 and scoring well prudence and principles. Such benefits help companies hurdle the economic price barrier, says Goehring. 

"Clean and green power is moving up the corporate agenda partly because organizations issued public statements and set goals that laid out markers for energy from renweable sources or carbon footprint reduction by 2020"

By: Jim McClelland (Green Lodging News)