Energy Customers Identify Key Objectives for New Solutions to Optimize Decarbonization Impact
The Clean Energy Buyers Institute launched its NextGen Activator Workshop series to identify energy market gaps and changes necessary to help energy customers advance toward their clean energy goals.
A clear view of gaps in the current market system underpinning carbon-free electricity procurement has emerged as energy customers explore advanced strategies to meet ambitious energy and climate goals. The Clean Energy Buyers Institute (CEBI) recently launched the Next-Generation Clean Electricity Procurement Initiative to engage market stakeholders through a series of workshops to identify critical market interventions to evolve the current system of energy attributes, data, greenhouse gas accounting frameworks, and leadership recognition programs.
The NextGen Activator Workshop series was convened by CEBI to understand the needs of energy customers that want to have greater impact toward advancing the wider decarbonization of the electric grid – such as making it possible to procure carbon-free energy at any time of day, in more carbon-intensive locations, and to cover their value chains – and to discuss the next generation solutions critical to advancing a carbon-free energy system. Over 30 energy customers participated in the first workshop representing various industries, including retailers, manufacturers, federal agencies, and information technology companies.
Participants identified eight objectives they hope to see included in new procurement solutions and recognition programs to enable them to use their voluntary procurement investments to support systemic grid decarbonization. The main takeaway: solution providers and market stakeholders should consider introducing solutions that empower energy customers to:
- Procure any complementary or carbon-free electricity resource.
- Match energy consumption with carbon-free electricity procurement on a 24/7 basis.
- Procure carbon-free electricity at the most carbon-intensive times of day.
- Procure carbon-free electricity in the most carbon-intensive locations.
- Procure carbon-free electricity to cover electricity use across value chains.
- Apply over-procurement of carbon-free electricity from certain regions to places without procurement options.
- Motivate systemic grid decarbonization beyond the organization’s operations.
- Deliver social and community benefits that promote further decarbonization of the grid.
The 30+ customers surveyed expressed that each of these objectives are either very or somewhat relevant to their energy and climate strategy. Even more notable for solution providers and market stakeholders to consider: more than two-thirds of customers would strongly consider standardized procurement options meeting any of these objectives if customers were to be incentivized to achieve the resulting impacts of the procurement option.
Looking ahead, CEBI is now working with NextGen Activators to identify gaps in the current system of energy attributes, data, greenhouse gas accounting frameworks, and leadership recognition programs that must be filled to broaden the suite of procurement options available that address these customer objectives. The identification of these barriers will clarify which market stakeholders are best positioned to support this evolution and the implementation of solutions.
CEBI invites customers and solution providers to join us for the second workshop in this NextGen Activator series on April 19th (registration here). CEBI also invites customers, solution providers, and other system stakeholders to the third workshop on May 18th in-person at our Spring Summit in Detroit (registration here). For more background on how the current system drives the voluntary market for clean electricity procurement, check out this recorded level-setting educational session.