GHG Accounting Updates Must Enable Customer Options to Accelerate Grid Decarbonization

The Clean Energy Buyers Alliance continues to be inspired by the ingenuity and passion of the energy customer community as they continually innovate for grid decarbonization.

Since 2008, when Walmart and SC Johnson became the earliest corporations to use their procurement power to buy utility-scale wind electricity through a Power Purchase Agreement, voluntary customers of clean energy have always pushed the envelope of creativity toward the goal of decarbonizing the U.S. power grid.

Today, voluntary purchases of carbon-free power account for more than a third of all new wind, solar, and storage capacity deployed since 2014 in the United States.

But companies want to do even more and have even more impact in their drive to decarbonize our power systems.  Whether it is today’s announcement of an “emissions first” approach to procurement, or coming together to create the global Clean Energy Demand Initiative with the U.S. State Department at COP27, or last year’s launch of the 24/7 compact with the United Nations, these efforts and others demonstrate that companies continue to lead the way toward the Clean Energy Buyers Alliance’s vision of customer-driven, clean energy for all.

With the commencement of the WRI process to evolve the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Scope 2 accounting methodologies, now is a time of tremendous opportunity to continue to unleash the power of energy customers’ demand and optimize the impact of voluntary carbon-free electricity (CFE) procurement to accelerate systemic grid decarbonization.

During the past year, the Clean Energy Buyers Institute (CEBI) has convened and facilitated discussions with over 100 customers, solution providers, registries, and others to discover what customers want and need to optimize the impact of their voluntary procurement strategies. CEBI also explored ways to develop and activate solutions to the challenges customers face in CFE procurement, through our Next Generation Carbon-free Electricity Initiative.

The emissions first principles echo the types of updates that CEBI has identified we need for the voluntary market system to enable next generation procurement solutions. By implementing the market system updates detailed in CEBI’s Next Generation CFE Procurement Activation Guide and expanding the CFE procurement menu to include next generation solutions, energy customers can send more powerful, targeted market signals that drive investments and hasten the deployment of carbon-free electricity in the most carbon-intensive locations and times of day to help decarbonize the grid.