Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find a selection of frequently asked questions about the 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy Compact, from signing up as a signatory to becoming a part of a global community actively engaged in accelerating Carbon-Free Energy generation.

What is 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy?

  • Carbon-Free Energy is electricity generation that does not directly emit carbon dioxide. 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy is a new approach to clean energy that accelerates the decarbonization of electricity systems by enabling organizations to meet their full electricity demand with carbon-free resources - every hour, every day, everywhere. 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy It is based on the following principles:
  • Time-matched procurement: matching hourly electricity consumption  with carbon-free electricity generation. Hourly matching helps connect clean energy purchasing to underlying electricity consumption.
  • Local procurement: purchasing clean energy on the local/regional electricity grids where electricity consumption occurs. This is the only way to drive the electricity-related emissions that a consumer is directly responsible for to zero.
  • Technology-inclusive: recognizing the need to create zero-carbon electricity systems as quickly as possible. All Carbon-Free Energy technologies can play a role in creating this future.
  • Enabling new generation: focusing on delivering additional carbon-free electricity to drive the rapid decarbonization of electricity systems.
  • Maximizing system impact: addressing the dirtiest hours of electricity consumption where the most fossil fuel is used in generation.

What is the 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy Compact?

We are a global group of companies, policymakers, investors, and organizations on a mission to realize a 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy future for all. This means meeting every kilowatt-hour of electricity demand with carbon-free electricity sources, every hour, every day, everywhere. The 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy Compact was launched during the High-Level Dialogue on Energy in September 2021 with an initial list of founding signatories committed to working toward a carbon-free future for all.

Who is leading the 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy movement?

The 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy movement is coordinated by Sustainable Energy for All, the United Nations, and a growing list of signatories from companies, organizations, and governments around the world.

Why should my organization join the 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy Compact? 

Joining the 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy Compact means your organization will become part of a global community actively engaged in accelerating the technologies, policies, tools, ideas, and advocacy that will collectively realize the mission of creating a future where all electricity consumption worldwide is served by Carbon-Free Energy sources.

How can we achieve 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy?

  • There is a role for everyone at every stage of the process, from the technologies that we use to generate carbon-free electricity all the way through to how this electricity is purchased and used. We need rapid progress and innovation, including:
  • More clean energy buyers are moving beyond 100% annual renewable energy matching goals and toward a 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy procurement approach that increasingly  matches hourly electricity demand on the same grids where the consumption occurs. 
  • New products and services that enable clean energy to be delivered to consumers around-the-clock.
  • Development and commercialization of advanced Carbon-Free Energy and demand optimization technologies.
  • Policy shifts to enable access to 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy and accelerate electricity grid decarbonization.
  • Access to hourly energy data to inform and drive decarbonization strategies.

Who is this aimed at?

  • The 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy Compact is open to everyone who wants to achieve around-the-clock Carbon-Free Energy. 
  • Energy buyers
  • Energy suppliers 
  • Local, regional and national governments 
  • Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and charities
  • Energy Advisors
  • Trade Associations 
  • System operators
  • Technology solutions providers 
  • Investors and financial organizations
  • Academic institutions and scientific community

Are there any requirements for signatories? 

  • Our main request is that signatories dedicate time and attend meetings organized to shape the conversation on 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy. 
  • We also ask all signatories to submit individual Energy Compacts that outline your specific voluntary commitments to advance 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy and optionally other voluntary commitments on broader SDG7. Our team is available to help you identify the right  commitments for your organization, develop your Energy Compact, and provide annual updates. 

What's the difference between carbon neutral, 100% renewable energy, and 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy?

  • Carbon Neutral - Organizations purchase enough carbon offsets to compensate for the emissions they produce. 
  • 100% Renewable Energy - Organizations purchase enough renewable energy to match their annual electricity use. This reduces some emissions associated with an organization's electricity use.  
  • 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy - Rather than emitting and compensating, 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy matches electricity demand with Carbon-Free Energy generation in each hour and on each grid where demand occurs, ensuring they don’t emit in the first place. This eliminates the emissions associated with an organization’s electricity use.  

What does Carbon-Free Energy include?

Carbon-Free Energy refers to any type of electricity generation that does not directly emit carbon dioxide, including solar, wind, geothermal, hydropower, nuclear, sustainable biomass, and carbon capture and storage (CCS).

What Carbon-Free Energy technologies and resources are available today?

Many Carbon-Free Energy and enabling technologies are widely commercially available today. These include renewable resources such as wind, solar, geothermal, and hydroelectric or sustainable biomass energy, non-renewable carbon-free resources such as nuclear power, and energy storage technologies like batteries. The clean energy community is also working to develop and commercialize other advanced technologies, including long-duration energy storage systems, low-carbon hydrogen, advanced nuclear power, next-generation geothermal, and carbon capture and sequestration technologies, all of which can help in the fight against climate change.

What's the difference between Carbon-Free Energy and net-zero?

  • Achieving 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy means meeting electricity demand with carbon-free sources around the clock, eliminating carbon emissions associated with electricity use. Net zero for an organization means eliminating or compensating emissions across its operations and value chain. By fully eliminating all electricity-based emissions, 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy is a key path to achieving net zero. 

Who is behind the 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy Compact?

We are a global group of companies, policymakers, investors, and organizations on a mission to realize a 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy future for all. We are working together to develop and scale energy policies, technologies, procurement practices, and solutions to transform the broader energy system and enable rapid and cost-effective decarbonization — every hour, every day, everywhere. The movement is coordinated by Sustainable Energy for All, the United Nations, and a growing list of signatories from companies, organizations, and governments around the world.

When was the 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy Compact launched?

The 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy compact was launched during the High-Level Dialogue on Energy in September 2021 with an initial list of founding signatories committed to working toward a carbon-free future for all.

What are UN Energy Compacts?

Energy Compacts are voluntary commitments from Member States and all other stakeholders, such as companies, regional/local governments, NGOs, and others, with the specific actions they will take to advance progress on SDG7 and net-zero emissions, designed to be fully in line with SDG Acceleration Actions and Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Climate Agreement. UN-Energy will support the development, mobilization, and monitoring of Energy Compacts throughout the entire cycle.

How can I learn more about the 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy Compact?

UN-Energy organized a series of workshops for all stakeholders, including governments, business, energy suppliers, solution providers and organizations to provide an overview of the growing movement for 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy (CFE) and how 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy can accelerate electricity grid decarbonization and its relevance to net-zero goals. The workshops provided information for interested stakeholders across the energy ecosystem to join this movement and commit to the 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy Compact. You can watch the recording of the workshop for governments and the one for business on this link. The presentations are also available on the same link. Watch the workshop recording.

Where can I read the full 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy Compact?

You can read the full 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy Compact on the UN website.