Over 50 major companies are calling for corporate renewables to be built into the European Union’s COVID-19 economic stimulus package.
Boosting corporate renewable electricity sourcing across the continent will not only generate hundreds of thousands of jobs, ensuring a just and sustainable energy transition, but will help the EU to deliver on its goal to reach climate-neutrality by 2050.
“COVID-19 has presented unprecedented challenges, but some good can come of it if we seize the opportunity to drive emissions cuts, helping us to live better in the future,” commented Helen Clarkson, CEO of the NGO the Climate Group. “A key area is fast-tracking renewable energy use. With the right policy measures in place, businesses will channel billions of Euros of investment across the continent – slashing emissions and creating the new jobs that we need.”
European leaders will meet on 19 June to discuss a 750 billion euros economic recovery plan unveiled by the Commission at the end of May. Funded by borrowing on financial markets, the plan notes the Green Deal’s 2050 climate targets but lacks detail as to how these will be achieved.
In response, major corporate energy buyers and suppliers have signed a letter to the EU and national governments, calling for stimulating additional investment by providing public credit guarantees or risk-sharing for at-risk renewable energy projects. Furthermore, they ask for policies to support the faster roll-out of corporate renewable power purchase agreements (PPAs). Finally, they are underlining the importance of prioritising the funding for electricity infrastructures such as transmission and interconnectors, smartening and digitalisation of distribution networks and storage sites.
“Corporate renewable sourcing is a perfect fit for Europe’s post-COVID green recovery, providing businesses with significant amounts of reliable and low-cost solar and renewable energy and unlocking private financing for new projects,” added Aurélie Beauvais, interim CEO of SolarPower Europe. “While recent years have seen substantial uptake in Europe, there is potential for far more. Now, it is essential to simplify corporate sourcing by removing regulatory, financial and administrative barriers. The solar industry is ready to develop concrete proposals to contribute to Europe’s ambitious and necessary climate-neutrality goal.”
Of 24 national energy and climate plans submitted to date under the Clean Energy for All Europeans package, only two detail how they will deploy corporate renewable energy sourcing.