Business energy users are buying more renewable power than ever, according to new figures.

A report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) found that companies and public organisations have committed to buy 7.2 gigawatts of clean energy worldwide so far this year, significantly higher than the 5.4 gigawatts record figure achieved during the whole of 2017.

The report said that in some global markets renewable energy was now the cheapest source of electricity.

It also said that companies are increasingly pooling their electricity demand together, which has made it easier for smaller companies to buy renewable energy.

Facebook has been the largest corporate buyer so far in 2018, purchasing over 1.1GW of clean energy. AT&T is the second largest buyer with 820MW, and aluminium manufacturers Norsk Hydro and Alcoa follow with 667MW and 524MW, respectively.

Demand will stimulate investment

The current 140 RE100 signatories consume an estimated 184TWh of electricity cumulatively.

In order to meet their renewable energy targets by 2030, BNEF estimates they will need to purchase an additional 197TWh of clean energy which the report estimated could stimulate an additional 100GW of solar and wind capacity globally.

Although the US remains the largest year, 2018 is also proving to be a record year for corporate procurement in Europe.

“It’s definitely not a one-year blip,” Kyle Harrison, an analyst at BNEF, said in an interview with Bloomberg.

> Find out more about BNEF here

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