How green is your energy?

Choosing a green energy tariff is a valuable step towards making your business more sustainable.

Renewable energy Purchase Power Agreements (PPAs) are becoming increasingly popular as the corporate world acknowledges the role it can play in helping the UK to meet its carbon-zero targets.

However, some of the green tariffs on the market – and there is plenty of choice – are greener than others in terms of how much they directly support investment in the UK renewables industry.

A third of domestic customers surveyed by Which, for example, believe that if an energy tariff is marked ‘green’ or ‘renewable’ then they expect to get 100% renewable electricity into their homes. That is not always the case.

Rest assured, all supplied contracts issued under Energy Management’s Green Energy Framework will be accompanied by a Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin (REGO) certificate which lays out the source of the energy in black and white.

The REGO scheme provides transparency to consumers about the proportion of electricity that suppliers source from renewable generation. All EU Member States are required to have such a scheme.

Read more about our Green Energy Framework>>

Renewables making headway in USA energy mix

The United States’ reliance on coal-fired power generation appears to be diminishing, despite President Trump’s best efforts to support the industry through favourable legislation.

On more days than not this year, utilities got more electricity from renewables – hydro, wind and solar – than from fossil fuel.

Last year, there were just 38 days when this was the case; however in 2020 already, the number is up to 122 days, including the whole of the month of April and all but three days in May.

While this is encouraging news in the global fight against harmful carbon dioxide emissions, the US is still lagging behind other nations in terms of cleaning up its act.

The UK, for example, went a record 67 days without any coal-fired power generation between April and June this year, when demand at the peak of the Covid-19 lockdown was admittedly low because of business closures.

Even so, that 67-day record represented the longest run without coal power since 1882.

In the US, government intervention does not seem capable of reversing the trend from coal to renewables, as natural gas is a cheaper alternative due to an increase in supply.

Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have enabled an 80 per cent increase in U.S. gas production since 2006, and about a 50 per cent decline in price. By contrast, coal prices have risen modestly over that period.

Oil giant feels effects of Covid-19

BP has announced a $6.7bn quarterly loss after global demand for oil slumped during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Oil prices fell dramatically as a result of the economic slowdown and turned negative for the first time in consumer history in April.

In the short-term, BP said it expected demand for oil could be up to nine million barrels per day lower compared to last year.

Shareholder dividends have been halved with forecasts for a challenging future ahead, while 10,000 jobs are to be cut – with around a fifth of the redundancies expected to be in the UK.

In response, BP said it wanted to move away from being a traditional oil company and reinvent itself as an integrated energy company by focusing on renewables and bioenergy as well as hydrogen and carbon capture and storage technology.