Firms increase renewable energy generation

More companies across the globe are now committed towards generating most of their energy through renewables. That’s according to a new report released today by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

More companies across the globe are now committed towards generating most of their energy through renewables.

That’s according to a new report released today by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) and Vestas which looked at the level of renewable energy used by businesses around the world in an effort to provide transparency.

The ‘Corporate Renewable Energy Index’ (CREX) found businesses are making direct investment in on-site energy generation, with 40% renewable electricity purchases last year. It suggested most of it was purchased by “consumer-facing” companies in the financial, telecoms and services sector to cover their power usage.

It also showed renewable technologies accounted for nearly half of all investments in 2011, with around $237 billion (£146.4 billion) compared to $223 billion (£137.7 billion) for fossil fuel generation.

Hydroelectric power (47%) was the most popular form of renewable energy, followed by wind (29%) and biomass and waste-to-energy combined (23%). Solar, however, generated less than 1% of total renewable energy due to costs being “relatively high” until recently.

A Japanese manufacturer of paper products topped the list of firms consuming the largest quantity of renewable energy, followed by a German insulation manufacturer and a Finnish paper firm.

The CREX report predicted companies will increasingly choose to buy renewable energy but the growth would depend on political and regulatory support.