2020 Recap: Energy Buyers, Renewables, and a Resilient Market

A look back at how CEBA’s members advanced renewables purchasing during a global pandemic.

As we turn the page on 2020 and look ahead to a new year filled with hope—for the climate, for public health, and for the economy—we can also reflect on what went right this year for large energy buyers, renewables, and climate action.  

A Year to Grow and Support 

In 2020, CEBA added over 70 new members largely fueled by energy buyers that accounted for 70% of membership growth. These new buyers are a diverse group representing the commercial and industrial sector, ranging from a global leader in chemicals, BASF, to a rapidly scaling agriculture tech company, AppHarvest. CEBA also added over 20 new supply-side members, split between energy providers and intermediaries.  

Despite the good news growth story, economic uncertainty has affected many CEBA members, especially those in the hospitality, travel and tourism space. We at CEBA feel deeply for the individuals who have faced furloughs or seen their sustainability budgets slashed. We’re committed to supporting the CEBA community through flexible engagement options, and will continue to partner with members on how to position the enough market through economic recovery.  

A Diverse Community 

Another notable trend of 2020 was the increasingly diverse makeup of CEBA’s corporate members. While many think of corporate renewables as a project for the biggest companies in the world, only 34% of all CEBA members are in the Fortune 500 today, and only 15% of the Fortune 500 are participating in CEBA. Large technology companies comprise 24% of CEBA buyers, but as of this year, are no larger the largest single business sector at CEBA. That top spot now belongs to consumer discretionary, representing 27% of CEBA buyer members and 30% of all new buyers joining CEBA this past year.  

A World-class Marketplace 

In 2020, CEBA’s ~130 energy buyer members represent approximately 80% of all corporate-backed renewable energy deals in the U.S. This adds up to 7.3 GW of a total 9.1 GW of newly announced, large scale renewable energy deals this year. CEBA continues to be the place where deals happen, whether they are VPPAs, physical or nonspecific PPAs, green tariffs, or large-scale on-site deals (3%).  

Looking Ahead 

We couldn’t be prouder of the resiliency our members and the broader community presented in 2020. During a year when we were all tested, personally or professionally, the success stories from CEBA members could fill many more pages than just this blog. We will celebrate the small victories of our most affected members right along side the record-breaking deal announcements of 2020 – and we’d love to hear from those of you that found a way to drive renewables forward

Get Involved

We’re heading into 2021 with renewed effort for meaningful climate action and we hope you’ll join us.