The corporate PPA market still has an important role to play this year.
In January, I wrote about some of the trends I thought would play a role in shaping the corporate PPA market this year. Since then, the COVID-19 pandemic has overtaken events globally.
In line with World Health Organization recommendations most countries have implemented restrictions on movement to combat the virus. The world’s largest economies are coming to terms with new ways of doing business, with those who can working from home and businesses deemed to be non-essential put on hold.
Naturally, this is having a massive impact on corporate energy usage patterns and the PPA market. As others have pointed out, the reduced numbers of people in offices and factories plus the temporary shift in priorities is likely to mean that there will be fewer offtakers looking to sign PPAs this year.
However, many businesses are vital to the fight against the coronavirus or keeping society going. They need to keep operating as close to normal as possible, even if that involves switching production focus. And those businesses that are severely curtailed will need to be in a position – both financially and structurally – to return to operations as soon as possible after some form of normality returns.
Moreover, while COVID-19 is the most pressing issue facing society, we can’t afford to forget about other global challenges. We still need to tackle climate change. We need to keep innovating and thinking of ways to reduce our ecological footprint. The transition to a greener, more sustainable energy system must continue. And sourcing energy responsibly, particularly for corporations, is vital in enabling that transition.
That’s why I believe the corporate PPA market still has an important role to play this year. COVID-19 has closed many of the trade shows and industry conferences where generators and offtakers would normally make the initial contacts that lead to signed deals. But digital tools such as Instatrust are available to help interested parties make those connections virtually so that the market can keep moving forward.