European Companies Set Record For Wind Power Deals

European companies bought a record amount of wind power last year, as businesses looked for greener ways to drive their machinery and data centres.

Record For Wind Power

As wind power becomes competitive on price with conventional energy in many countries, big companies have rushed to secure renewable energy to manage costs and reduce their carbon emissions, while boosting their image with customers.

According to Industry body WindEurope, new wind deals through corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) were signed in Europe last year for 1.5 GW of capacity, up from 1.3 GW in 2017. European companies bought a record amount of wind power capacity last year, as energy-hungry businesses like aluminium producers and IT giants looked for greener ways to drive their machinery and data centres.

The aluminium sector was the most active according to the industry body, with Norsk Hydro and Alcoa signing big deals in Sweden and Norway. Pharmaceuticals and automotive also did their first PPAs, with Mercedes-Benz announcing deals in Poland and Germany. The latter will see wind energy powering Mercedes’ electric vehicle and battery manufacturing.

Nordic countries still have the most PPAs. But 2018 saw Germany, Spain and Poland all get their first PPA. France and Italy are looking into it as well. The EU Clean Energy Package will help: it requires governments to remove outstanding regulatory barriers to PPAs.

WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson said, “Corporate PPAs are booming. Industrial consumers across a range of sectors have now bought nearly 5 GW of wind energy via PPAs. 2018 saw a record number of new deals, and the first PPAs in the automotive sector and in pharmaceuticals – and the first in Germany, Spain, and Poland. In Germany, Mercedes are now going to use wind to power their EV and battery factories.”

“It shows industrial consumers see wind power as competitive and reliable. And it’ll help allow the industry to reduce its energy costs. The CO2benefits are big too: industry accounts for over half of Europe’s electricity consumption. But some countries still have barriers to PPAs. They’ll have to remove them under the EU’s Clean Energy Package. And they should say how in their National Energy Plans this year,” he added.

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Ayush Verma

Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.

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