Four Steps to Green Power
Four Steps to Green Power

Renewable energy is helping to drive a global green revolution. For businesses considering using it, however, four basic steps can make the difference between good intentions and commercial success.

Businesses worldwide are embracing the advantages of going green, and renewable energy is an effective way for companies to reduce their carbon footprints. It not only shows corporate social responsibility, but can also bring commercial benefits.


For businesses able to set up renewable energy systems on their premises and sell the electricity they generate to the power grid, energy can be transformed from an operating cost to a source of income in the long term, subject to market and climate conditions.


While harnessing and selling renewable energy may suit some businesses but not others, renewable energy should be part of every company’s strategy. The following four steps provide some guidance on how to get it right:

Get a thorough audit
Energy audits help companies identify ways to save power and increase their energy efficiency.

1. Get a thorough audit

The first step to take before considering installing renewable energy infrastructure is to analyse the amount and cost of energy being consumed. CLP Power offers a free energy audit service to help commercial and industrial customers understand the unique power consumption patterns of their businesses, identify potential opportunities for energy management and cost reduction.


By conducting an energy audit, companies can choose energy-efficient technologies and onsite digital building energy management systems to minimise their avoidable electricity use before deciding on the best renewable energy solutions, equipment, and installers to match their budgets and long-term decarbonisation goals. 

2. Think location

There are several considerations to weigh up in planning a renewable energy strategy. The first step is to assess the business’s location, the number of buildings the renewable energy system will be installed in, and the feasibility and energy capacity of potential installations based on their size and the setting. 


Aspects to consider include the weather, the surrounding environment, and whether there are shading effects that will impede direct sunlight if solar panels are being installed, or whether there is sufficient wind if the project involves wind turbines.


It is also important to consider whether the building contract is suitable for onsite renewable energy generation, as leased assets often require the landlord’s permission. The length of the lease may also determine whether it is worth making such an investment. 


Think location
CLP Power customers can opt to install solar and wind power systems and earn Feed-in Tariff payments once they are connected to the grid.

3. Set an ambition level

The next step is to define the realistic ambition level of the company and its stakeholders, as well as understand the compliance requirements for standards or charters which they may have committed to. 


There are ways to support renewable energy other than onsite installations. This can include certificates with green attributes, which represent the rights on the environmental, social and other non-power attributes of renewable energy generation. Examples include renewable energy certificates which are available for Hong Kong businesses who wish to support local renewable energy development, and green energy certificates which are more commonly issued across Mainland China. Alternatively, green tariffs such as EnergyAustralia’s PureEnergy programme are electricity rates offered to customers who wish to source their electricity from renewable resources. 


Furthermore, businesses can also consider corporate power purchase agreements. There are two main types of corporate power purchase agreements. Physical power purchase agreements are contracts for the purchase of power delivered through the grid along with associated green attributes generated from renewable energy. In comparison, virtual power purchase agreements, which are also commonly referred to as contracts for differences, involve no physical delivery of power from renewable energy projects, and are instead financial hedges where buyers are guaranteed power price stability and can at the same time claim rights on green attributes.


In cases where emissions cannot be avoided, offset programmes are available to help companies achieve carbon neutrality. Companies may consider bundling certain options together based on their budget to achieve the best outcome in meeting their environmental targets. 

4. Consider green partnerships

Investments in renewable energy projects do not necessarily have to be made in isolation. Partnering with other companies to align green energy interests through shared procurement contracts can help businesses achieve greater strategic renewable energy objectives, minimise the barriers for entry into the green energy sector, and reduce costs. 


When choosing renewable energy solution providers as partnering suppliers, companies may need to look into their portfolio of available renewable energy solutions, as well as their expertise in managing renewable energy projects and the related legal frameworks. Such suppliers would be able to act as a renewable energy concierge that helps companies meet their renewable energy objectives, while freeing up resources for their core business. 

Consider green partnerships
Partnering with companies which embrace renewable energy can create a win-win situation.