European corporations seeking to decarbonise their energy mix through renewable procurement are being urged to raise their ambitions further by looking to move towards 24/7 matching of green power supplies.
Round-the-clock alignment of demand with clean power supplies on at least an hourly basis was high on the agenda at the RE-Source 2021 corporate renewable sourcing event held in Amsterdam last week, with a key white paper released on the issue.
With some companies already citing 100% renewable power procurement by meeting consumption on an average annual basis, the white paper A Timely Match, released by the RE-Source corporate renewables platform and power industry body Eurelectric, argued that 24/7 matching is the next step to helping accelerate decarbonisation.
As well as helping to deepen penetration of renewables in local grids and power markets, the white paper claims several wins for corporates themselves, including the ability to offer a more transparent corporate sustainability record and unlock innovative business models.
However, the step will also require changes around grid digitalisation and the way data is metered, and the guarantees of origin (GOs) that companies rely on to verify the authenticity of the power they procure.
Bruce Douglas, business and communications director at Eurelectric, said: “Moving towards 24/7 renewable energy matching can help increase transparency of emission reporting and accelerate grid decarbonisation. The next steps will require more awareness raising, access to data and a look into the time stamping of GOs.”
Several huge corporations are already making moves in the round-the-clock direction, according to the RE-Source/Eurelectric white paper.
Web giant Google – one of the world’s pacesetters in renewables procurement for its energy-hungry fleet of data centres – is among the highest-profile corporates seeking 24/7 matching for 100% of its supplies by 2030.
Google last year partnered with utility AES in the US to develop a first-of-a-kind round-the-clock solution for its Virginia data centre complex.
Within Europe, partnerships between Microsoft and Vattenfall, and Mercedes-Benz and Statkraft Markets are among those driving progress on the issue.