Greener energy supplies and renewables are a central element in your net zero journey
Greener energy supplies and renewables are a central element in your net zero journey, with a range of options, costs, technologies and approaches to choose from. It’s likely you will end up with a blended approach to accelerate and achieve net zero in the ways and time frames you want.
We can inspire your journey to net zero using the route that makes most sense for all stakeholders, talking you through the options and helping you make the right choices for your organisation. This mix can change over time.
We are unique in our ability to offer you expertise and resources in onsite generation as well as physical and virtual Power Purchase Agreements – in the UK, across Europe and around the world.
Think of this as a tiered approach in terms of greenness, benefits and net zero value delivered versus costs. Some options are relatively fast and lower cost to implement but can only provide limited short-term advantages: low hanging fruit. Other options require significant capital investment in return for major long-term carbon and cost benefits.
At the top of the tree, the largest net zero advantage can be gained through your own onsite generation, private wire and Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). At the other end of the scale, you will almost certainly need to wrap green energy into your supply contracts, use carbon offsets, and get energy certification. We can help you find the right balance of green measures and costs.
The Consultus Net Zero Pathway tool provides customised options and indicative costs based on your set-up, preferences and time lines. Our consultants can also guide you through the different costs, stages and benefits.
A Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) will help you to go greener and achieve your net zero targets, improving your energy security and reducing market price risk. PPA are long-term agreements between an energy consumer who wants to buy 100% renewable energy and the power producer.
The greatest benefits are delivered through onsite PPA arrangements. Giving you renewable energy with no third party charges – the network costs, levies and taxes that make up the majority of your energy bills – the power generation assetis physically installed and commissioned “behind” the metering point of an energy consumer. These are precisely specified to suit a site’s real-life demand and usage profile. Any excess energy generated can be also sold back to the market and is exported via your normal network connection. Energy generated can be sleeved into your existing supply contracts, offsetting the amount of energy usually taken from the grid.
The Consultus Net Zero Pathway tool enables you to understand how private wire and PPAs can fit within your net zero mix.
We can then help with planning, evaluating site options, feasibility studies, investment grade audits (IGAs), carbon emission impact reports, analysis of cost savings, Board Packs, project management, network upgrades, funding, and tendering and settlement – all in line with your precise requirements.
We can take care of the complexity while you gain the benefits of more sustainable, lower cost energy. Consultus expertise includes:
Our longstanding experience and resources in Energy Resilience means we can provide a complete solution to private wire generation. This combines world-class design and installation of prime generating equipment with unique trading and energy optimisation services.
This is another type of physical PPA: generation assets do not directly supply an energy consumer but an agreement is made between generator and consumer to buy a set volume of energy. Electricity can be supplied through the normal grid network and balanced through the settlement system. This option means that generation assets do not have to be close to an energy user’s site.
With no direct connection between generator and energy consumer, this flexible and increasingly popular option has simpler contractual arrangements than a physical PPA but delivers similar benefits, including green energy and energy security.
In virtual or ‘synthetic’ PPAs, electricity is not supplied direct from green generating plant to consumer. Instead, the power produced is traded on the wholesale energy market. Electricity is delivered from the grid in the usual way, which means it is still subject to the usual third party charges. Generator and consumer agree a price per kilowatt-hour, as with a physical PPA.
Our unique net zero e-tendering platform connects energy consumers with 400+ greener energy generators, projects and initiatives right across Europe – giving you more options and greater choice in your virtual power purchases.
The Consultus Net Zero Pathway tool enables you to see how these virtual agreements can fit within your net zero mix. The degree of personalisation is entirely up to you, your energy usage and net zero aspirations.
Our experts can help you understand the market and options available, identify and select initiatives, and provide enhanced strategy support including supplier selection and sleeving within existing energy supply contracts – all in line with your precise requirements. Please get in touch
In addition to our Europe-wide e-tendering platform, we also directly manage diverse generation projects and assets, offering virtual agreements including the energy that is produced. Consultus is currently developing a 49 megawatt solar project in southern England to come online in late 2021.
In this option, renewable energy is embedded in all of your current and future supply contracts as standard. The market has been moving in this direction for some time, with a rising number of renewable energy projects and assets now available. 40% of all contracts that we currently write are green. The cost of renewable energy continues to fall sharply while the number of green-only suppliers is growing.
Many corporates and all public sector contracts already specify the need for renewable energy on supply contracts. This should also be an option if you are working towards a PPA or if you are not in a position to enter a PPA.
By taking this greening option, you will still receive the certification you need, but you will still be paying a surcharge for your greener energy, and it is lower down the sustainability ranking so you may not achieve your net zero targets in the time frames required unless additional measures are taken.
Please note, while it can contribute to achieving net zero, greening an energy contract is not recognised by some schemes such as the RE100 global initiative as a significant step towards net zero.
The idea is simple: “neutralise” the impact of your greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in some way through either straightforward payments or by selecting and funding named projects.
Offsetting can be particularly useful to global enterprises with multiple locations that include places where other net zero options such as PPAs or VPPAs may not be possible or available.
Carbon offsetting is based on calculating how much carbon dioxide is emitted by your organisation or by a certain activity, and then funding a project or initiative designed to reduce carbon emissions by the same amount. This might be planting or conserving a forest, or helping to fund a wind farm or solar energy renewables project.
This is the lowest tier of Green Energy & Carbon Offsets. These certificates can play a role in your overall net zero journey, all be it a very small one.
Energy supply contracts backed by the Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin (REGO) certification scheme are a way to “evidence” that the energy used comes from renewable sources and is therefore contributing to carbon neutrality. This can often be a first step in a wider-ranging sustainability programme. However, it has been noted that REGO certificates can be traded between companies and so may not be as representative of an eco-friendly approach as they may first appear. REGOs have been criticised as “greenwashing” unless additional and more proactive action is also taken.