By Maf Smith, Deputy Chief Executive, RenewableUK
In the last decade the UK has moved from being a must-do-better lacklustre supporter of renewables to an international powerhouse. The UK can be proud of the fact that over the last 25 years we have delivered the deepest cuts in carbon of any G7 nation, while continuing to grow our economy. It provides the perfect riposte to cynics who saw renewables as bad for UK competitiveness. The UK of course is set to go further. Last week net zero legislation passed smoothly through Parliament and is now headed for the statute books.
The new reality that the UK has an effective consensus around the need to address climate change is a big plus in helping business invest in low carbon power. Political risk remains an issue for all players in the energy market, of course, so it’s good to know that climate commitments remain firm and that Government action is being informed by current science.
Government is of course not acting alone. The public now rates climate as a top three issue, and public campaigns and actions by individuals like Greta Thunberg have struck a chord with people who agree that we need more urgency and action on climate. Alongside them are a set of the UK’s biggest corporates also wanting to take action and to take responsibility for where they source their power needs from.
The RE100 initiative, run by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, is a growing group of almost 200 corporates – most of them household names – wanting to go further and faster than national governments, having committied to 100% renewable power.
100% is obviously way beyond the mix of any national power system, so they are turning directly to the market, doing deals for pure renewable power, and not simply relying on the grid to deliver them the mix of power they want.
We want to makes this happen as fast as possible, so next week RenewableUK and the Solar Trade Association are working together to hold an event called RE-SourceUK at the Guildhall in London. The idea is to bring energy buyers and sellers together to talk about Corporate PPAs and the growth of deals here in the UK for the very first time.
We have big energy buyers like John Lewis Partnership, BT, Vodafone, GlaxoSmithKline and Hewlett Packard alongside local authorities and public buyer platforms such as LASER which procures energy on behalf of London’s local authorities. Joining them will be big names such as EDF, Ørsted, ScottishPower, NextEnergy Capital, RES, DLA Piper and EY. All these companies are signed up as Event Partners and are working with us to promote and grow the corporate PPA energy market.
If you are a corporate or public sector body who wants a better grip on their energy costs and energy impact then this event is for you. The great news is that it is free for energy corporates so is a no-lose option way to find out more about this market. The event is rapidly approaching (it’s on Monday 8th July!) and bookings coming in fast so to secure your place register here now.
There is no doubt that the Corporate Power Purchase Agreement Market will play a role in tackling climate change and help us to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions faster. But we need to take practical steps right now to speed the transition. That’s why we’ve decided to act as matchmakers in what we think will be an important growth area in the years ahead.