As renewable energy prices continue to fall and corporate sustainability goals become increasingly important to businesses, a greater number of corporate actors are looking to purchase renewable energy to meet voluntary targets, reduce energy costs, and reduce their exposure to variable energy prices. Renewable energy procurement historically focused on the environmental attributes of renewable generation, but corporate actors are now utilizing additional mechanisms to purchase the renewable energy through direct access programs. Utilities, competitive service providers, and renewable energy developers have created a variety of procurement instruments to meet this increasing corporate demand. Additionally, there is increasing diversity in the type of corporate actors that are signing renewable energy procurement deals.
This issue brief explores the possible mechanisms for corporate renewable power procurement, the major corporate players and coalition advocates, and the state and utility policy trends that are supporting this expansion. This issue brief has been updated to incorporate recent NREL data on trends and market dynamics of different voluntary corporate procurement mechanisms.