Why Clean Energy’s Corporate Patrons Are Buying Less This Year

Major corporations have made a one-way bet on renewable power: more of it, every year.

In 2012, companies procured power from 300 megawatts of wind and solar; last year, they bought more than 30 gigawatts’ worth, a 100-fold increase. There are now more than 125 gigawatts of clean power under contract to large companies around the world.

But look closely at data from the first half of 2022, and the one-way bet appears to be off. Corporate procurement of clean energy stopped short of 15 gigawatts, less than half of last year’s total. That means at the current pace 2022 could be the first down year in more than a decade for new corporate procurement of clean energy.

The relative decline is not evenly distributed. In the Americas, contracts are running only a few hundred megawatts behind 2021’s annualized rate. In the Asia Pacific region, though, contracts are running more than 20% ahead of pace. The bulk of the decline comes from paltry contract volumes in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. (Note that almost all contracts in this big region are in Europe proper.)