BASF Pushes Renewable Energy in US

11.08.2022 - As one of the BASF group’s latest steps to increase sustainability and move closer to net zero emissions, US subsidiary BASF Corporation is embracing one of the newest instruments popular with US industry, virtual power purchase agreements (VPPAs).

To date, the US offshoot has signed VPPAs covering more than 20 of its regional sites. The virtual agreements differ from the usual fixed supply arrangements in that they set a general price for multiple investments in renewable energy over a period of up to 20 years.

This new type of instrument, which consultants say now account for more than 80% of US industry’s new energy supply agreements, allow companies to reduce Scope 2 emissions and also responsibly claim that all or part of its operations are powered by renewables.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calculates that VPPAs could eventually offset more than 472,500 t of CO2 emissions annually.

Concretely, the new instrument will allow BASF to offset its energy supply with 250 MW of renewable solar and wind power while lifting the share of renewable energy used in North America to 25% of overall electricity consumption. This translates into 660,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity per year.

Michael Heinz, CEO of BASF Corporation, noted the VPPAs signed in North America also will contribute to the group’s global target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25% up to 2030 and achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

The Corporation is taking a “make and buy” approach to secure the required amounts of renewable power, said Tobias Dratt, president of the North American arm. A specific benefit of VPPAs, he explains, is that they will help the chemical producer to reach its clean energy targets in areas where the local grid does not supply adequate renewable power.

BASF is working with various US partners, who it said are “driving the sustainable change of the energy sector.” Some of the most active on the North American renewable energy market belong to the Paris-based Electricité de France (EDF) group.

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Author