The ICT sector has led Europe’s corporate renewable power purchase agreement (PPA) market for years. Overall, the sector still accounted for 34% of PPA capacity between 2013 and 2022. However, heavy industry is catching up with 28% of total capacity today, according to data from the trade association WindEurope.
So far in 2022, both sectors are neck and neck in leading Europe’s corporate renewable energy procurement. Heavy industry has signed 927 megawatts (MW) of corporate renewable PPAs and ICT 923MW so far.
Google was one of the first to sign a PPA in 2010. Since then, giants like Microsoft and Amazon have followed. Currently, Amazon alone is responsible for the vast majority of corporate renewable PPA investment in Europe with almost 5 gigawatts (GW) to its name – this is almost two-thirds of the ICT sector's total PPA capacity.
Most members of the RE100 initiative, which brings together companies committed to 100% renewable electricity, are in the services sector, with many financial institutions making pledges to switch to clean energy. However, WindEurope's data shows that banks, retailers and food and drink manufacturers have been slow to invest in PPAs, with many companies committing to the energy transition but lagging in the procurement of renewable power.
Historically polluting heavy industry, on the other hand, seems to be feeling the pressure to decarbonise and is investing heavily, adding more than 2GW of capacity in 2021 alone. Among the companies signing the most corporate renewable PPA agreements in heavy industry are Alcoa, Norsk Hydro and BASF.
Editor's note: This story is part of a series of articles Energy Monitor is producing as part of a media partnership with the RE-Source Platform (WindEurope, SolarPower Europe, RE100 and wbcsd) for RE-Source 2022, an annual gathering of European renewable energy buyers and suppliers, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on 6 and 7 October.