Amazon and Total Emerge as Major Buyers of Clean Energy in New BNEF Report

Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s report ‘New Energy Outlook 2020’ reported an 18% increase in green energy sales; Amazon purchased 5.1GW, Total 3GW

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) has revealed in its latest report that corporations around the world drove an 18% increase in clean energy sales last year compared with 2019. Tech giants, oil and gas companies and auto manufacturers purchased 23.7GW renewable energy as compared to 20.1GW in 2019 and 13.6GW in 2018. Over 130 companies signed long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) of which Amazon and Total were the biggest buyers. Total purchased 3GW worth solar power last year, aiming to power all its industrial sites in Europe with solar power by 2025. Amazon emerged as the top offtake of renewables, signing 35 PPAs to acquire 5.1GW clean energy. With 3,092GW of solar power in its kitty, Amazon has become the corporate leader in solar PPAs.

Kyle Harrison, Senior Associate at BNEF, said: “Internal corporate functions were disrupted at the outset of the pandemic, and many companies saw revenues plummet as global economies buckled. [However]… the continued, albeit slower, growth of offtaking last year is testament to how sustainability is on many corporations’ agendas.”

BNEF’s research also depicted how America has been losing its market share in corporate PPAs to European and Asia-Pacific competitors. Last year, the US and Latin America acquired 13.6GW of renewable energy via PPAs as opposed to 16.3GW in 2019. The American market displayed a decline of 2.2GW in PPAs, and policy changes in Mexico saw deal volumes plummet. On the other hand, companies in Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle-East and Africa acquired 7.2GW via PPAs in 2020 as opposed to 2.9GW in 2019: an increase of almost 150%.

The report drew particular attention to Spain’s major contribution in increasing Europe’s market share. In 2020, Spanish companies purchased 4.2GW of clean energy as opposed to the only 300MW in 2019. Many corporations, such as Total and Anheuser-Busch InBev contracted virtual PPAs with Spain to offset their load. The report predicts South Korea as the next major player in the clean energy share market due to recent policy revisions announced by their government early this year.