Fortune 500 companies are leading the way in announcing ambitious plans to reach net-zero, but corporate leaders and industry observers are quickly recognizing that the energy transition is a journey that is going to take strategy, a comprehensive effort and time. Companies are making progress, but the journey will present challenges along the way—challenges that a partner like Calibrant Energy can help overcome.
According to a study conducted by Fortune, 58% of Fortune 500 CEOs said they have a plan to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner. Are these plans truly actionable? As companies face more pressure to achieve decarbonization and make meaningful commitments to net-zero, having a clear path for progress over the long-term will be more important than ever. While 2050 seems distant, the decisions we make today will determine net-zero success in years to come.
Focusing on Scope 1 Emissions at Facilities
While Scope 2 emissions (energy purchases) are often addressed through various forms of solar and wind power purchase agreements (PPA) or virtual PPAs, Scope 1 facility emissions (direct emissions) have been a bit more difficult for companies to tackle. That’s where Calibrant begins to differentiate itself and bring a unique value to our customers.
We partner with globally operated enterprises that have large portfolios of facilities – offices, manufacturing and industrial sites, and/or distribution warehouses. A facility’s most common source of Scope 1 emissions is often fossil fuels such as natural gas that are used as a heat source for their operations. While reducing consumption and increasing energy efficiency initiatives at a facility help reduce Scope 1 emissions, removing gas and other fossil fuels from operations will require complex and expensive solutions. This could include combining renewables as the source of electrification and/or adding thermal storage to reduce the amount of carbon intensive fuels needed for heat. A successful strategy must also be tailored to the facility’s unique profile for current operations and future plans such as production line expansion and/or a transition to electric vehicle (EV) fleets.
Drawing a Customized Roadmap Toward Energy Transition
The complex, ever-changing nature of these issues is what makes the energy transition a journey—one that requires a bespoke roadmap to navigate. Companies need a thorough and thoughtful strategy deployed in phases over years to fully decarbonize their own sites as well as facilities throughout their supply chain (Scope 3 emissions).
At Calibrant, when we build an integrated strategy to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions at facilities, here are some of the initial questions we seek to answer:
- Does our client look to improve performance, sustainability, reliability, flexibility, value—or likely some prioritization and combination therein?
- What land or facilities are available (now or in the future) for placement of solar, energy generation or energy storage technology?
- What is the facility’s current (and future) load profile? Does the site have stable, flat energy consumption like a data center or is it “peaky” like a manufacturing facility that operates in batches?
No two clients—or client site—are identical. Many of the companies we partner with have sites that present a variety of energy loads and fuels along with a variety of priorities when it comes to operations and sustainability goals and timelines.
These dynamic situations require equally dynamic solutions that engage multiple technologies over the energy transition journey. Comprehensive decarbonization strategies will likely start by leveraging mature technologies and solutions available today like onsite solar, battery storage, and EV charging infrastructure. These strategies will likely also plan to implement emerging technologies that could include thermal storage, long duration energy storage (LDES), industrial heat pumps, fuel cells, or other onsite generation that can use renewable natural gas (RNG) or even hydrogen in larger quantities moving forward.
The market is ever-changing and solution-oriented companies will identify and integrate emerging technologies as they mature.
Moving from Brown to Green: Calibrant’s Integrated Solution
Companies could work with independent providers for each technology. That approach, however, could present a significant risk when viewed over a large portfolio of varying facility types. Staying on top of each of these technologies and managing an array of different providers for solar, EV charging, and others is a significant undertaking—even for a large, global company. This is especially true for most Fortune 500 companies where renewables and decarbonizing technologies are not a core part of their business and value proposition.
Working with a single partner like Calibrant to build a holistic solution that integrates current and future technologies, and the benefits they can provide, allows companies to map their energy transition journey against a feasible timeline while minimizing disruption to operations or risk.
Calibrant provides the capital and development expertise needed to partner with companies to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions and beyond. We do this by bundling multiple mature and emerging technologies with service level and performance guarantees, and cost-effective solutions to create a holistic approach to meeting long-term sustainability commitments. Backed by Macquarie’s Green Investment Group and Siemens, stakeholders can have trust in our partnership model over the course of their decarbonization journey.
Thomas Biddinger is the Director of Business Development & Partnerships at Calibrant Energy.