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Aspiring generators

The basics about Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), renewable energy certificates and investment cases

More and more businesses are tapping into natural resources, like wind, solar and biomass, or  waste that once went to landfill to generate electricity, and with very good reason. Just some of the benefits of becoming an electricity generator include:

  • New revenues – by getting paid for the electricity they export to the grid and the associated renewable energy certificates 
  • Lower electricity costs – by reducing their exposure to both volatile wholesale energy prices and rising delivery charges
  • Reduced carbon emissions and improved sustainability reporting with a lower carbon electricity supply than the standard grid mix
  • Improved operational resilience – with less reliance on electricity imported from the grid


There are two main reasons why getting investment for long-term projects such as renewable energy generation can be challenging:

  • Business priorities: You have to compete for funding against projects that promise to drive top line growth – the dominant priority for most businesses
  • Financial hurdles: According to the 2012 Energy Leaders Survey by sustainability analyst firm Verdantix, the top two barriers to investment in energy equipment were the lack of sufficient savings and financial returns being below CFO requirements

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