Bloomberg: corporate clean energy purchases reach record heights
New records have been set for procurement in clean energy this year, according to a research report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).
In 2017, corporates purchased a total of 5.4GW of ‘clean energy’ but this year the figure has already reached 7.2GW.
Around 60% of clean energy procurement came from the US, according to Edie which references the report, with Facebook being the largest buyer as it has purchased a total of 1.1GW of clean energy so far this year. Other clean energy buyers mentioned in the report were AT&T, Norsk Hydro and Alco. Meanwhile, Europe also broke records with a total of 1.6GW clean energy purchased this year.
BNEF, in its report entitled the H2 2018 Corporate Energy Market Outlook, also noted that companies are not just looking to boost their credibility by pursuing sustainable initiatives, but are seeing the benefits of long term fixed price contracts available for renewable energy through the likes of power purchase agreements.
Bloomberg’s overall New Energy Outlook has predicted that by 2050, wind and solar tech will provide almost 50% of total electricity globally, with total ‘zero-carbon’ electricity amounting to 71% of all energy produced.
Analysts also predict that coal will shrink to just 11% of global electricity generation by 2050, down from a current proportion of 38%.
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.