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Clean Energy Buyers Institute (CEBI) to Advance Systemic Grid Decarbonization

Next Generation Carbon-Free Electricity Procurement Initiative to leverage energy customers’ perspectives and demand for new procurement options.

What’s better than 45 GW of customer-driven renewable energy deployment? Answer: energy customers driving full decarbonization of the power sector using all carbon-free technologies.

The Clean Energy Buyers Institute (CEBI) launched the Next Generation Carbon-Free Electricity Procurement (NextGen) Initiative to help bring more procurement options to the market for energy customers and accelerate advancement toward a 90% carbon-free U.S. electricity system by 2030. 

Over the last two decades, the energy sector experienced significant changes that lowered carbon emissions and supported progress toward climate action targets, including exponential growth in wind and solar capacity, significant investment in clean energy technology, market-friendly energy policy changes, and a decreased reliance on fossil fuels. The voluntary procurement of clean energy led by energy customers advanced the evolution of the energy market and will continue to drive critical investments in the years to come. 

The challenge: While continued growth in wind and solar capacity is critical to achieving a decarbonized electricity system, variable renewable energy alone is insufficient to deliver a 90% carbon-free grid across all hours of the day, every day of the year. Investments in carbon-free firm energy resources, such as long- and short-duration storage, are needed to fill daily and seasonal intermittency without emitting greenhouse gases. 

The solution: Updating the existing system of greenhouse gas accounting standards, energy attribute certificates, and energy and emissions data available—which together underpin today’s markets—will enable the procurement options that take the grid toward deeper decarbonization. To make this evolution in procurement options and incentives to procure them a reality, there are three prerequisites: 

The NextGen Initiative will unlock new solutions and markets for carbon-free energy procurement by addressing barriers, like improved access to granular energy and emissions data, that currently prevent energy customers from achieving their goals and supporting the investments in carbon-free resources and systems that are necessary to decarbonize the grid for all. Once more attributes, such as time, location and quantitative carbon value are captured and supported with the right data, energy and service providers can deliver advanced solutions for customers. 

The Clean Energy Buyers Institute (CEBI) will convene a diverse NextGen Activator community—including energy customers, energy providers, service providers, energy attribute certificate registries, recognition programs, and standards bodies—to inform the development of various next generation procurement principles, guidance documents, and educational resources. These solutions-oriented resources will focus on characterizing customers’ electricity-related greenhouse gas reduction strategies and the associated challenges. CEBI will also participate in industry initiatives to synchronize efforts to guide the evolution to the current system of greenhouse gas accounting standards, energy attribute certificates, and energy and emissions data. 

CEBI will kick off its NextGen Activator workshop series with an energy customer-focused educational and workshop session on March 30, 2022 to define common customer experiences and begin revealing the functional data, attribute, accounting, and recognition-related requirements for next generation procurement options.

To learn more about how to become a NextGen Activator and support this initiative, please contact the NextGen Initiative team via NextGen@cebi.org.