Sep 24, 2021

Energy leaders launch 24/7 Carbon Free Energy Compact

Energy
sustainability
carbonfree
emissions
Dominic Ellis
4 min
The 24/7 Carbon Free Energy Compact represents a new global effort to accelerate the transition to a carbon-free electricity sector

Leading energy buyers, suppliers, solutions providers and governments announced today the formal launch of the 24/7 Carbon-free Energy Compact in partnership with Sustainable Energy for All and UN Energy.

Founding signatories of the Compact include 8 Rivers Capital, The AES Corporation, ClearTrace, the city of Des Moines, Iowa, EDP, Energy Tag, Fervo Energy, FlexiDAO, Google, the government of Iceland, Iron Mountain, the city of Ithaca, New York, LevelTen Energy, M-RETS, Orsted, Power Ledger, Statkraft, Tomorrow, and X.

The Compact represents a new global effort to accelerate the transition to a carbon-free electricity sector to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change.

SEforALL and Google made the announcement during the United Nations High level Dialogue on Energy in New York. In addition to Google, founding signatories of the Compact include The AES Corporation, Orsted, EDP, the city of Des Moines, Iowa, the government of Iceland, and others.

A carbon-free electricity sector is the foundation for creating a net-zero emissions global economy.

Electricity generates 25% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, and is key to decarbonising other sectors of the economy, including buildings, transport, and industry. Meeting this challenge will require a rapid acceleration in the pace of clean energy deployment, the development of advanced carbon-free energy technologies, and significant policy changes.

SEforALL and Google are calling on companies, governments, and other stakeholders to join the Compact in the lead up to November's COP26 Conference in Glasgow and commit to advancing policies, procurement practices, tools, and data that are critical to fully decarbonising the world's electricity systems. The Compact lays out a set of principles and actions that actors can take to adopt, enable, and advance 24/7 Carbon-free Energy, focusing on hourly decarbonization of local and regional electricity grids.

"The world is at a crossroads," said SEforALL CEO & Special Representative to the UN Secretary-General Damilola Ogunbiyi. "We can either continue with business as usual or embrace change that leads to a more sustainable and equitable future. This starts with making the important link between energy and climate."

Tackling climate change requires government and business to work together with urgency and focus, added Google CFO Ruth Porat. 

Signatories of the Compact commit to advance the procurement practices, market mechanisms, policies, technologies, and energy data transparency needed to enable the rapid and cost-effective achievement of 24/7 carbon-free energy for all.

Procurement
Energy buyers commit to moving beyond 100% renewable energy annual matching goals and adopting, over time, 24/7 CFE procurement approaches that lead to new clean electricity generation to match hourly electricity demand on local/regional electricity grids where their consumption occurs, in line with the 24/7 CFE principles.

Market Mechanisms
Suppliers and solutions providers commit to provide offerings that enable increasing access to 24/7 CFE, including by developing contractual arrangements, market products, or other innovations that enable the delivery of round-the-clock clean electricity.

Policy
Signatories commit to publicly advocate and support energy policies that accelerate the decarbonization of electricity grids. This can include policies that help develop, commercialize, and deploy CFE generation and demand optimization technologies; policies that expand and interconnect electricity grids to integrate CFE; policies that expand and enhance electricity markets; and policies that provide direct access to purchases of CFE, among others.

Technology
Signatories also commit to supporting the advancement of CFE technology to decarbonize electricity grids, including by any one or a combination of the following actions: enabling the deployment of commercialized CFE generation and demand optimization technologies; enabling the commercialisation of next-generation CFE generation and demand optimization technologies; developing or enabling supporting electricity grid infrastructure or technology that integrates carbon-free energy; developing or adopting software solutions that advance decarbonization of the electricity sector.

Data and Transparency
Signatories commit to advocate and support widespread access to the energy data required to enable all consumers to set and measure 24/7 CFE goals, support the optimization of CFE technologies to demand, and maximize the decarbonization impact of consumer actions.

In terms of specific services each company will offer:

  • The AES Corporation is providing 24/7 carbon-free energy to Google's data centers in Virginia; 
  • EnergyTag is an industry-led, non-profit initiative to define and build a market for granular energy certificates;
  • Fervo Energy is driving geothermal innovations to create a truly carbon free grid; 
  • Iron Mountain is committed to meeting each KW needed from a local carbon free source;
  • FlexiDAO and LevelTen provide software solutions to help companies achieve their net-zero targets;
  • X moonshot will work with partners to develop and apply advanced computing to support the design and operation of a decarbonised, affordable, reliable and resilient power system;
  • M-RETS is developing the first registry to support an hourly REC claim in partnership with Google;
  • The Powerledger platform can stamp the time and location data from clean energy production onto renewable energy certificates;
  • electricityMap will measure emissions at a high resolution

Each signatory will capture their specific commitments in their own Energy Compact, an innovation introduced by SEforALL and backed by UN-Energy as a key outcome of the UN High-level Dialogue on Energy.

The Energy Compacts are public and trackable commitments, with specific actions, made by governments, companies and others to achieve energy transition goals by 2030 – including universal access to affordable and clean energy. 

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