Renewable energies have acquired a strategic role for companies. Even more among those seeking to reduce the impact of energy consumption and sustainable development. The expectation in the coming years, therefore, is that there will be a probable increase in the search for new sources that result in less environmental impact.
In addition to reducing energy use through energy efficiency actions, the corporate purchase of renewable energy plays an important role in this context.
The consumption of energy from clean sources has proven to be a good option, mainly because it is an affordable solution for commerce and industry. Therefore, it has been the way chosen by many companies to reduce energy costs and their carbon footprint. This is a methodology created to measure greenhouse gas emissions, and also help you achieve your sustainability goals.
There are a number of possibilities for companies to consume renewable energy. One is the direct purchase of developer contracts through Power Purchase Agreements. This system is also known as PPA. Another alternative is to purchase renewable energy certificates.
CEBDS recently launched a publication exclusively on this topic. It's about the guide Why is Corporate Purchasing of Renewable Energy a good deal? The paper provides an overview of the use of corporate renewable energy PPAs, focusing primarily on the opportunities they present for companies in Brazil.
What are renewable energies?
A definition of what is considered renewable may vary for each company. Considering that a large part of the renewable electricity generated in Brazil comes from large hydroelectric plants, which require extensive transmission lines to transport energy and a large area of reservoirs, some corporations and developers use the term “renewable” to refer only to non-conventional renewable energies, such as wind, solar, biomass, solid waste and small hydropower.
What is PPA?
The PPA is an electricity contract, similar to a regular contract in the free market. These agreements are signed between the buyer and the project developer. Negotiated conditions include prices, volume, energy delivery period, guarantees/insurance, etc.
PPAs with corporate buyers often relate to new or expanding renewable energy projects. That is, undertakings that will be financed based on contract revenues. Given the requirements for financing large infrastructure projects, the general term of a PPA is 8 to 20 years.
Renewable energy companies and PPAs:
· Braskem and the partnership with EDF Renováveis
A braskem committed to buying wind energy for 20 years and thus helping to make the expansion of the Folha Larga Complex possible. The venture is being developed by EDF Renewable do Brasil in Bahia, in a contract estimated at R$ 400 million. This new renewable energy park, located in the municipality of Campo Formoso, 350 km northwest of Salvador. With this, it will contribute to placing Bahia as a likely leader in the sector in the coming years.
The company becomes the first company in Brazil to increase the number of large corporations in the world that use EDF Renewables services. This group includes Google, Microsoft, Kimberly-Clark, Salesforce, Procter & Gamble, Walmart and Yahoo.
· Banco do Brasil and 15-year PPA for 58 branches
Portuguese electricity company EPD will sell electricity through a 15-year PPA to the 58 branches of the Bank of Brazil. The growing corporate PPA model for large-scale solar energy projects in the country was also confirmed by Rodrigo Sauaia, president of the Brazilian Solar Association, Absolar. In a recent interview with pv magazine, he explained how nine photovoltaic projects with PPAs of 10 to 20 years are being planned in Brazil.
· Ambev and the construction of 31 solar energy plants
A Ambev signed contracts with four different partners to build 31 solar plants by March 2020. As such, it is part of a global effort by the parent company, Anheuser Busch InBev. The objective is to have 100% of the electricity used in all the company's operations in the world coming from clean sources by 2025. For this, Ambev will pay R$ 140 million over a period of 10 years to the four partners. These, in turn, will have invested R$ 50 million in the construction of 31 solar plants.
"It works almost like a lease and, at the end of the 10-year contract, all the solar plants will be ours," said Ambev's Director of Sustainability and Supplies, Leonardo Coelho, in an interview with Reuters. The total project requires 50,000 solar panels, which together are expected to generate 2,600 megawatt hours (MWh) per month. In this way, it will seek to avoid the emission of 2,900 tons of carbon dioxide annually.
· Heineken and the target of 100% of renewables in Brazil by 2023
A Heineken follows the global trend in the corporate world, with more and more companies targeting renewable sources. The company recently inaugurated, for example, a wind farm in Ceará, with an investment of approximately R$ 40 million. The installation will produce enough energy to supply around 30% of the consumption of the brand's 15 breweries in the country.
By 2023, the brewery intends to install boilers powered by wood biomass in all its breweries in Brazil to meet the target. So far, four units already use the technology. Another two will start generating their own energy in 2019.
Google uses only renewable energy
A Google started operating 100% with renewable energy in 2017 and has been demonstrating that it does not intend to slow down this pace. The company disclosed that it maintained its operations using solar and wind sources in 2018. With that, it became the first company in the world to reach this rate for two years in a row.
According to the company, thanks to advances in artificial intelligence and chip architecture, its data centers are seven times more efficient than five years ago. These installations consume a large amount of energy to operate 24 hours a day. Among the reasons revealed by the company for the success of this policy is the PPAs. Contracts are used to purchase electricity from wind farms or solar farms built near the facilities.