New markets in Asia, Latin America and Europe kept the corporate renewable energy bandwagon rolling as the Covid pandemic sent new deals for wind and solar power plunging in the US, said first-half data from BloombergNEF.
The analyst group said America – traditionally the leader in renewable procurement by large corporations like Facebook, Google and Amazon – saw 4.3GW of agreements in the first six months of 2020, well down on the 6GW agreed at the same time last year and mainly due to a steep fall in activity in Texas.
The wind and solar-rich state, which accounted for 40% of US renewable corporate deals last year, has seen power demand drop sharply amid the pandemic, making PPAs a less attractive prospect for large companies.
However, other regions stepped up to ensure global deals hit 8.9GW in the first half, 300MW up year-on-year. That was thanks to major corporate wind and solar procurements in markets such as Brazil, Taiwan and Australia – the latter including deals by Amazon and Aldi.
South Korea was cited as a rising star of corporate renewable procurement, while Europe is “no longer a one-trick pony” dependent on the Nordic markets thanks to strong Spanish activity.
Despite the broader spread, BloombergNEF warned there’s no guarantee corporate renewables will outstrip 2019’s full-year record 19.5GW of deals.
“Though activity is currently pacing ahead of 2019, a big second half will be required in order for the market to hit record volumes by year-end, with Covid-19 the biggest adversary that could stall growth.
“More than in previous years, deals will have to be globally spread for a new record to be established in 2020.”