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Common Corporate Clean Energy Goals

by: Verse
Dec 20

If you’re unfamiliar with corporate clean energy goals or need a quick refresher, check out this explainer video! It provides an overview (with examples) of three common goals — 100% Renewable Energy (RE), Carbon-Matching (aka Emissionality), and 24/7 Carbon Free Energy (CFE).

Clean Energy Goal #1: 100% RE

In this scenario, a company aims to match its annual power consumption with clean energy. 

For instance, if company A uses 100,000 MWh of electricity between January 1 and December 31, it will purchase 100,000 MWh of clean energy in that same period. 

100% RE involves matching annual energy consumption with an equal amount of renewable energy. Clean energy purchases are not restricted to the grid in which the consumption occurs.

That means a company can purchase renewable energy wherever it’s least-cost, without considering where it operates. For example, Company A, whose operations are in Louisiana, could buy renewable energy from projects in any grid.

Clean Energy Goal #2: Carbon-Matching

The goal is to match a company’s annual emissions associated with its energy consumption with an equal amount of avoided emissions from its purchases of clean energy.

So, if Company A emits 40,000 tons of carbon in a year, it will procure clean energy that avoids 40,000 tons of carbon emissions over the same period.

Like 100% RE, carbon matching involves annual matching but focuses on carbon emissions rather than megawatt hours of energy. There is no location requirement, BUT location matters as each grid has a different carbon intensity. This approach prioritizes clean energy purchases that are least-cost from an emissions impact perspective. 

For instance, a company pursuing carbon-matching would rather buy solar power in Kentucky than in California because Kentucky’s mostly fossil-fuel grid has a higher carbon emissions intensity than California’s, which has lots of clean energy and thus relatively lower emissions intensity levels. 

Clean Energy Goal #3: 24/7 CFE

The third goal is 24/7 carbon-free energy (CFE). Unlike the two previous goals, this one involves hourly matching and includes a location requirement. 24/7 CFE aims to match every MWh of a company’s electricity consumption, every hour of every day, with carbon-free electricity sources in the same grid. It is the end state of a fully decarbonized electricity system.

If a company matches 100% of its hourly consumption with CFE, the company would have a CFE score of 100%. 

Corporate Clean Energy Goals: Which Is Right for Me?

It can be very difficult to choose from among the various corporate clean energy goals if you don’t understand the tradeoffs. 

Verse’s Aria platform helps companies understand the benefits and drawbacks of different goals. Using generative AI and predictive modeling, Aria analyzes and illustrates the cost, risk, emissions, and carbon-free energy profile of the various options. 

This holistic view empowers customers to determine their optimal, data-driven, future-proofed clean power strategy.