6 trends for companies leading at the renewable energy edge

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Schneider Electric has launched a new report “Innovative Organizations. 6 trends for companies leading at the renewable energy edge”, that explores the six biggest trends in renewable energy innovation that are shaping the ways these leading-edge organizations are thinking about carbon management and power purchasing.

Organizations will play a considerable role in shaping our global energy strategy. Not only are organizations the largest energy users, they also hold the key to the large-scale adoption of renewable energy and clean technology solutions.

140 global companies have committed to sourcing 100% of their electricity from renewable sources via the RE100.

Carbon reduction

Schneider Electric, is among the 460+ companies to date that have committed to science-based targets. Approximately 2 companies per week join the Initiative. 125 have set and approved targets. This is indicative of an even broader shift: the growing acknowledgement by companies all over the world that global warming and its impacts pose a threat to continued operations that must be addressed through aggressive carbon reduction. A larger investment in a renewable strategy – such as a PPA, global EACs- is required for those organizations that want to use renewables to drive carbon reduction.

Engaging the value chain

Industry sectors such as manufacturing and retail have a significant Scope 3 carbon footprint, and historically, it has been challenging to accurately assess and address these emissions. Leading companies are beginning to engage their suppliers directly on renewable energy purchasing, which reduces the carbon intensity of suppliers’ operational electricity consumption, drives global renewable energy market development, helps provide greater resilience to parent company operations, and can be applied to the reduction of their own Scope 3 footprint.

Emergence of viable global markets

Clean energy markets around the world have begun rapid development. EACs are the predominant technology available in many developing regions. Typically, EACs (a commodity) and their trading schemes form the basis for maturing markets and provide a mechanism for the tracking and trading of renewable energy. According to the report, leading organizations face several challenges when expanding their renewables activity to global markets: availability, credibility, scale and economics. Although the U.S., Canada, and Europe continue to dominate the mature market stage, Schneider anticipates that the rapid growth of markets in India, China, Australia, and others will increasingly present leadership opportunities to organizations with global footprints.

The water-energy nexus

CDP has identified that water is a risk for almost every company in every industry sector. One of the biggest threats to business continuity is water supply, which is further threatened by global warming and can also be mitigated by renewable energy consumption. An inverse relationship also exists between water and energy, in that water consumption requires large volumes of energy, primarily to move, process, heat, and treat the water, but a decrease in conventional energy use can drive a reduction in water consumption, expense, and impact.

Collaborative sourcing models

For some leading companies, the next innovative step is to help open the market for other participants through collaborative sourcing models. These models—which can include aggregation, joint tenancy, and reseller contracting—are allowing smaller companies and leaders alike to achieve larger renewable energy sourcing goals.

New tech: testing the boundaries of renewable generation

According to the report The grid of the future will be a decentralized Meshgrid™, where there is more independent production and consumption of energy, resulting in a new generation of Internet of Things-enabled prosumers. In the most immediate term, leading companies can embrace active energy management (AEM), which recognizes and capitalizes on the interdependencies and synergies between resource reduction targets, enterprise efficiency, renewable energy procurement, and the shape of electricity consumption in both conventional and green markets.

Source: Schneider Electric