1. Introduction to Green Electricity Sourcing
Decarbonization has become a global imperative and a priority for governments, companies and society at large. Sourcing green electricity is a crucial strategy for achieving net-zero carbon emissions. There is an increasing number of companies that have set or already made the target of using 100% renewable electricity.
While many options exist to run a business on green power, they have different economics, credibility and risks.
This report “3 practical ways for Green Electricity to power your company” explores the importance of green electricity. Besides, it offers practical solutions that companies and ecosystem players should consider.
2. Electricity in the world
Our world depends on the reliable and affordable delivery of electricity. 15% of the final energy consumed in the world is in the form of power.
Despite the small share, electricity is the fastest-growing source with a 2% increase per year. The IEA expects to reach 28% of total final energy consumption by 2040.
One of the reasons for this increase is due to electrification. Companies are choosing to power transportation and industrial processes with electricity to reduce emissions, embrace alternative energy and increase efficiency.
Electrification, despite increasing electricity demand, reduces the total energy demand.
The reason is that electric heat and transport systems can be significantly more efficient at delivering energy services than when using fossil fuels.
Despite the growth of renewable generation such as wind and solar PV, only 26% of 2019 electricity came from renewable sources.
The electricity generation, as a consequence of the coal and natural gas resilience, is responsible for 40% of global energy-related CO2 emissions. (IEA)
Finally, if we analyze by sector Industry is the largest end-use sector for electricity consumption.
To summarize, reducing emissions due to use of electricity in our factories should be a fundamental pillar in our path to combat climate change.
3. What is green electricity?
Green electricity, also referred to as renewable electricity, is that power which comes from natural sources or processes that are constantly replenished. For example, the sun keeps shining and wind blowing, even if their availability depends on time and weather.
Harnessing nature’s power has long been used for heating, transportation and lighting.
The wind has powered boats to sail and windmills to grind grain. Nevertheless, in the past 500 years or so, humans increasingly turned to cheaper, dirtier energy sources such as fossil fuels.
The European Environmental Agency defines Green Electricity as the power generated from renewable energy sources and that generally has a lower environmental impact (e.g. emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants) over its lifecycle than electricity generated from fossil fuels.
An interesting benchmark of lifecycle GHG emitted by different generation technologies can be found in the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5).
A higher share of renewable electricity thus helps to diminish the environmental pressures stemming from electricity generation.
Increasingly competitive, renewables and especially solar PV and wind are rapidly transforming power systems worldwide.
In 2019, renewable electricity generation rose 6%.
Despite hydropower, green electricity generated from water sources such as the ocean, rivers and waterfalls, represents 60% of global renewable generation, two-thirds of that 6% growth came from wind and solar PV.
Renewable power still needs to grow 7% annually during this decade to meet the Sustainable Development Scenario (SDS) goal of 60% by 2040. Most of that growth will come from onshore wind and solar PV. (IEA)
This combination of lower costs of renewable technologies and lower environmental impacts are making green electricity a very appealing strategy for sustainability leader companies.
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If you want to know more about:
– Why do companies source green Electricity?
– What is “produced Onsite renewable electricity”?
– What is “Purchased Off-site” renewable energy?
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