According to a new report from the Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) and Vestas, a growing number of green businesses are beginning to source their power exclusively from renewables instead of just making a small token purchase.
The new report, the 2012 Corporate Renewable Energy Index (CREX), is a ranking of over 300 global companies based on their voluntary sourcing of renewable energy, and the reasons for why they do it.
The companies ranked in the CREX have tended to fall into two extremes, but there is a newly emerging group that is choosing to get 100% of its energy from renewable sources.
“Previous CREX reports found most respondents buy a small amount of renewable energy, either by installing on-site generation such as wind turbines, or purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). In this year’s report nearly one third of respondents said they used less than five per cent renewable energy – but by contrast, 35 CREX companies said they used 100 per cent renewable energy, mostly through RECs, to cover all their power usage.”
Predictably, the companies sourcing the most from renewables tend to be companies with very public faces: the financial, telecommunication, and services sectors mostly.
Somewhat surprisingly, ‘high-energy-use sectors’ such as aluminum and paper production have also begun to purchase larger amounts of electricity from renewables, in order to save on costs. The majority of these companies directly invested in on-site wind turbines or biomass boilers, to help reduce their energy bills.
The most common form of on-site renewable energy according to the report was hydroelectric power – at 47% of the total share – next up was wind power at 29 percent. And biomass and waste-to-energy followed wind with a combined 23 percent.
“According to previous Bloomberg figures, global investment in new renewable capacity outpaced that of fossil fuel generation in 2011, with $257bn invested in renewables compared with $223bn for additional fossil fuel generation.”
“Data compiled for CREX over the past three years found that renewable electricity procurement as a percentage of the global total electricity mix increased from 14 per cent in 2009 to 16 per cent in 2011.”