Q&A: How Schneider Electric’s NEO Network Is Shaping the Future of Renewables in Europe
Europe’s appetite for renewables is growing rapidly, and countries including Germany, Scotland and Denmark have already established themselves as leaders in renewable energy generation. However, the voluntary market for commercial and industrial participation has, as a whole, been slower to develop compared to the more aggressive US, Indian and Mexican markets.
In some countries, ‘green’ tariffs are provided and European Guarantees of Origin (GOs) or Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGOs) are available for purchase across the region. On the rise are offsite Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), in which commercial entities contract directly with developers on projects. To date, it has been more expensive to execute a PPA in Europe, and so only a handful of multinational corporations — such as Facebook, Google and Microsoft — have done so. However, as technology costs continue to fall and the market conditions for PPAs in Europe become more favorable, more markets — including Poland, the UK, the Netherlands and Belgium — are beginning to embrace the idea of offsite contracts.
In the midst of this transition, global energy management and automation specialist Schneider Electric has extended its NEO Network to Europe. We spoke with John Hoekstra, VP of Sustainability & Cleantech Services at Schneider Electric, to learn more about the program and how it will help shape the future of the European renewables market.