At the Global Climate Action Summit this fall, stakeholders from around the globe will meet in San Francisco to discuss how we can take climate ambition to the next level. Business can play a significant leadership role in accelerating the transition to a lower-carbon economy, and as we have seen through initiatives such as the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), renewable energy can be a key component of climate action efforts.

Corporate renewable energy procurement should be guided by a defined strategy based on available options, key priorities and ambition. To create your strategy, you must identify your company’s motivations for procuring renewable energy, adopt supporting goals and commitments and identify available internal human and financial resources to aid execution.

These are the steps we would suggest to help you get started.

1. Assess your options

The first step is to assess the landscape of renewable energy sourcing options available on the market to determine what is feasible. This ultimately will determine the renewable energy options available to you.

Current and future policies will affect renewable energy costs, incentives and availability. The Climate Policy Tracker can be a useful tool in assessing how regulations will affect your renewable energy choices in various jurisdictions.

After narrowing procurement options based on geography, your company must consider specific site constraints. Here are some questions to consider:

  • Is your real estate portfolio suitable for onsite renewable energy generation? Leased assets often pose a challenge for onsite generation, requiring companies to liaise with their landlords; however, renewable energy availability also poses a challenge. For example, a company that leases retail space in an urban locality with poor solar energy potential may not have the option of leveraging onsite renewable energy, despite a supportive landlord.
  • If your real estate portfolio is suitable for onsite generation, what is the energy capacity of potential projects/installations? Companies with owned or leased assets that support onsite renewable energy generation should consider the energy capacity of any potential projects/installations and use this to calibrate their local procurement implementation. Asset type and energy capacity should be significant considerations when negotiating contract terms with potential project developers.
  • What is your time horizon? Long-term contracts should not be considered for sites likely to be eliminated from the real estate portfolio before the termination of the power generation contract.

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