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The Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) Institute and Brattle Group have released a new report suggesting multiple clean energy policy pathways increase access, lower costs, and drive decarbonisation of the electricity sector.

According to the Renewable Energy Policy Pathways Report, expanding competitive supply options, utility subscription programmes and renewable energy portfolio standards can provide attractive near and long-term options to improve access to renewable energy through 2030.

Other key study findings include:

  • Allowing commercial and industrial customers the option to choose their suppliers provides opportunities to expand access to renewables – potentially up to 100% of C&I needs. This option can lower the cost of renewable energy procurement by up to 11%, compared to if customers do not have supply options.
  • Utilities’ renewable energy subscription programmes in states where C&I customers do not have supply choice provide attractive near-term opportunities to improve access to renewables. This is particularly the case when utilities replace their retiring fossil generation with renewable energy for C&I.
  • Moderate renewable portfolio standard (RPS) expansions have the potential to green the grid for all customers but do not directly provide procurement options for C&I customers to go beyond state established renewable energy targets.

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The report also shows that participation in centrally organised wholesale markets makes any of the examined policy pathways cheaper and is key to increasing customer options, reducing costs and facilitating greater renewable energy integration.

“As we work toward decarbonisation, a zero-carbon future, we need to remove pervasive market barriers to energy procurement,” said Miranda Ballentine, CEO, REBA and REBA Institute.

“Large energy customers have a powerful role to play in the decarbonization of the electricity sector and are increasing their momentum with aggressive renewable goals,” said Bryn Baker, director of policy innovation, REBA. “The economic development benefit of supporting such policies should also be considered as many corporations make decisions on where to site or expand operations based on where clean energy access is possible.”

The report is available for download here.