Acciona to support Telefonica’s clean energy goals

Telefonica and ACCIONA sign an agreement for a renewable electricity supply in 2018.
Published: Mon 12 Jun 2017

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Spanish telecommunications company Telefonica has signed an electricity supply agreement with Spanish renewable energy and infrastructure conglomerate Acciona .

Acciona will supply 71.6% of the high-tension remote-metered power that Telefonica will consume in Spain in 2018.

The 430GWh of electricity, supplied by Acciona, will be 100% renewable and will cover 83 major locations, including data processing centres, offices and other Telefonica installations around Spain. The consumption of renewable energy will avoid the emission of 413,000 tons of carbon emissions from coal-fired plants, according to a Telefonica statement.

With this agreement, Telefonica will also meet one of the key points in its Renewable Energy Plan which is to buy mainly renewable energy from local sources.

Telefonica’s renewable energy goals

The deal follows Telefonica’s announcement that it is joining RE100, a global and collaborative initiative to substantially increase the demand for renewable energy. This forms part of the company’s plan to achieve 50% renewables by 2020 and 100% by 2030, coupled with a reduction in energy consumption.

Says Sam Kimmins, head of RE100, run by The Climate Group, of the new membership: ‘By joining RE100 and progressing its renewable electricity goals, Telefonica is demonstrating that climate leadership and business leadership go hand in hand. Going 100% renewable means Telefonica is saving on energy costs while preventing CO2 emissions; that’s a smart business decision. The company is one of the largest multinationals in Spain with a large electricity footprint and even larger global reach. How it chooses to source its energy matters in driving market change and delivering on global climate goals.’

Telco’s clean energy movement creates sustainability

The company has managed to double its renewable energy consumption which stood at 21% a year ago. Currently, 44% of its worldwide electricity consumption comes from renewable supplies. The company already obtains 79% of its energy consumption in Spain from renewable sources; that figure is 100% in the United Kingdom and Germany.

The company estimates that, when its energy supply is 100% renewable, it could save up to 6% on its total energy bill, equivalent to 1.4% of its current revenues.

“Our renewable energy plan helps us to improve our competitiveness, reduce our operational costs and make growth compatible with a sustainable strategy,” states Enrique Blanco, Telefonica’s global chief technology officer.

Leaders in the technology and telecommunications sector, including Facebook, Google, and Amazon, have long since established themselves as first-movers in the corporate renewable energy world. Since 2010, when Google signed its first power purchase agreement (PPA) for a wind farm in Iowa, this group of companies have led the charge in the race to create a cleaner Internet.  

PPAs are becoming the primary mechanism corporations use to bring on board large quantities of clean power and add new renewable energy to the grid. Looking at aggregate renewable PPA deals signed by commercial, industrial, and institutional (C&I) organizations, Tech and Telecom sectors have been major players-in 2015, 66% of non-utility renewable energy PPAs were executed by IT companies, according to Renewable Choice Energy.