July 24, 2018 Read More →

A shift in heavy industry toward renewables

Financial Times ($):

In the forests of central Sweden, construction is about to begin on a giant wind farm with a single purpose: to supply power to the aluminium smelters of Norsk Hydro, one of the world’s biggest producers, for the next 29 years.

The wind farm, which cost €270m to build, highlights an important development in renewable energy — a growing number of investments from heavy industry.

Recent deals from cement plants and aluminium smelters signal how a market is developing for renewable energy, particularly during a time of volatility for traditional energy prices, as some of the world’s most carbon-intensive industries try to go green.

“Industrial players are going to have a huge role, a pivotal role in the development of renewables in the future,” said Mark Dooley, head of green energy at Macquarie Capital and the Green Investment Group, one of the developers of the wind farm. “We think that, while it makes sense that an aluminium producer is in the vanguard, there is every reason to expect that all heavy industrial will follow.”

Corporate buyers of renewable power have been on the rise and emerged as one of the main drivers for new renewables projects, because long-term power supply deals typically enable construction to begin on a large wind or solar project.

Tech companies such as Microsoft and Amazon, which have big data centre power needs, were among the first to do these deals. But the trend has now spread across sectors and even to heavy industry, which has been one of the slowest sectors to decarbonise.

More ($): Heavy industry turns to renewables in drive to go green

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