The market speaks: Corporate energy buyers want 90 percent carbon-free electricity by 2030

electric grid upgrades

While everyone is watching what the federal government is doing (and not doing) to spur renewable energy, the market itself is pushing for real changes. The Clean Energy Buyers Association (CEBA) and the Clean Energy Buyers Institute (CEBI), which together make up the Clean Energy Buyers Alliance, set a big, bold ambition this week: a 90% carbon-free U.S. electricity system by 2030 and global community of energy customers driving clean energy.

Alongside the two organizations’ bold new vision of the future – customer-driven clean energy for all – the Alliance will super-charge the work of its predecessor organizations, the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) and the REBA Institute, which represent global companies with more than $6 trillion dollars in annual revenues and 14 million employees.

“This is the decisive decade for climate action and especially for decarbonization of the power sector,” said Miranda Ballentine, CEO of CEBA and CEBI. “To achieve a net-zero economy worldwide by 2050, the United States must lead. And the power sector must accelerate toward a 2030 timeline as electrification of other industries will be driving up power use.”

In the U.S. alone, more than 60% of electricity is consumed by the commercial and industrial sectors. Institutional energy customers have accelerated the deployment of clean energy solutions over the last 10 years to achieve increasingly ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets and further cement the critical role of customers in decarbonizing the energy system. The Clean Energy Buyers Association Deal Tracker shows that 7.9 GW of new corporate renewable energy project announcements in the first three quarters of this year are equivalent to 40% of all new carbon free energy capacity added in the U.S. so far in 2021.

“With our new vision of customer-driven clean energy for all, we are also unveiling new organization brands,” Ballentine continued. “I’m excited to announce that REBA will become CEBA—the Clean Energy Buyers Association—and will focus on activating our community of energy customers and partners to deploy market and policy solutions for a carbon-free energy system. The REBA Institute will become the Clean Energy Buyers Institute (CEBI) and will focus on solving the toughest market and policy barriers to achieving a carbon-free energy system in collaboration with policymakers, leading philanthropies, and energy market stakeholders. Together, CEBA and CEBI will make up the new Clean Energy Buyers Alliance.”

To decarbonize the U.S. electricity system 90% by 2030 and to activate a community of customers driving clean energy around the world, the Clean Energy Buyers Alliance will drive three critical transformations to:

  • Unlock markets so that energy customers can use their buying power and market-influence to accelerate electricity decarbonization.
  • Catalyze communities of energy customers to actively choose clean energy and to do more together than they could on their own.
  • Decarbonize the grid for all, since not every energy customer can or will use their buying power to choose clean energy.

“The Clean Energy Buyers Alliance is setting the bar for what energy buyers, utilities and governments should and need to be doing to achieve a carbon-free energy future,” said Michael Terrell, CEBA board chair and Director of Energy at Google. “This ambitious approach is a critical step in tackling climate change. The time for meaningful climate action is now and we must collectively be bolder and more ambitious in our actions in both the public and private sectors – starting today.”

This new vision of customer-driven clean energy for all is an unprecedented opportunity for every member of the Clean Energy Buyers Alliance community – from energy customers to providers to manufacturers – to all parties up and down the energy supply chain to lead the evolution of a new energy economy, which will require investments in clean energy to rise to $4 trillion by 2030.

And here’s a new, handy way to find impact projects

Corporate offtakers that want to create a positive social and environmental impact beyond reducing emissions usually lack the technology to do so. That’s why LevelTen Energy debuted the Impact+ Score on its Energy Marketplace — the world’s largest marketplace for renewable energy power purchase agreements. Impact+ Score enables buyers to more easily and quickly procure from the most impactful projects to help usher in a sustainable and equitable energy transition at the speed that climate change demands. From the blog explaining the innovation:

By aggregating extensive data related to a project’s siting practices, community benefits, supply chain, and much more, LevelTen’s Impact+ Score provides a concise yet thorough representation of a project’s total impact beyond just the carbon-free electricity it delivers. For renewable buyers and developers looking to maximize our industry’s potential to bring broad-reaching economic, environmental, and societal benefits, Impact+ provides a standard framework to measure and communicate these nuanced, but consequential, aspects of project build-out.

Impact+ will score renewable energy projects based on their impact on three principles: communities, conservation, and climate. The “3C’s” derive from the white paper which provides information on how clean energy buyers can maximize the benefits of their renewable energy purchases, all while taking the 3C’s into consideration.

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