Business is starting to play an important role in developing the Taiwanese market for corporate renewables sourcing. Here, Remi Lee, Chief Sustainability Officer at RE100 and EP100 member TCI shares why sourcing 100% renewable electricity makes business sense.
What were the drivers for joining RE100?
“We wanted to commit to 100% renewable electricity to walk the talk on sustainability. Our products aim to help make people’s lives better and we want to embody that vision across all our operations.
“As such, we see renewable energy as a way to support the health of the earth – from people to planet. We have committed to sourcing 100% renewable electricity by 2030, with an interim target of 30% by 2020. Due to a sizeable investment, we are already anticipating reaching 25% renewable electricity by the end of the year.
“For us, renewable energy is the future of business. We embed sustainability in everything we do. From products made of farm waste to green factories, we want TCI to be an environmental leader and push the whole industry forward.
“Our clients, customers, stakeholders, and employees are also all concerned about the future of the planet. So, there is not one single reason for us to join RE100; instead, it’s all these reasons together.”
What opportunities does joining RE100 bring to you?
“The Taiwanese energy market does not currently make it cheaper to source renewable energy than other fuels. The market has been slow to develop that capacity. But, our hope is that by committing to source renewable power at this early stage, we can help reduce the cost of renewables over the next twenty years.
“Joining RE100 has been a tremendous opportunity for us as we do this. Being able to meet international researchers, organizations and activists working on renewable energy has given us new knowledge we can incorporate into our own journey to 100% renewable power.
“Attending the Global Climate Action Summit in California was a great opportunity to stand on a global stage and let the world know that manufacturers are working towards a renewable future. At the same time, we were also able to share our challenges and discover new solutions.
“This type of collaboration and interaction is why RE100 is a fantastic initiative to join. Only by working together can we secure a renewable future. “
What challenges do you face in achieving your RE100 target?
“The biggest challenge we see for securing renewable electricity is a lack of existing capacity in the Taiwanese energy market. Previously, the provider Taipower was responsible for all energy production and distribution. In the past two years this market has fortunately started to open up and private players can now produce and source renewable energy.
“The second challenge is related to the first, as power purchase agreement (PPA) policy has been aimed at large corporations and Taipower. These 20-year contracts with relatively high feed-in-tariffs (FIT) make it difficult for smaller players to compete.
“We hope more flexible policies can be developed so corporations can work together to show their commitment to, and demand for, clean energy.
“We know that it takes time to develop renewable energy projects and that a high feed-in-tariff encourages renewable development, but we must make sure there is room at the table for the majority of Taiwanese businesses, SMEs, to take part.”
Are your customers urging you to source renewable electricity?
“As an original design manufacturer (ODM), our main customers are the brands themselves. We have not yet received consistent requests from brands about our energy usage as their primary concern is still product quality.
“However, seeing the trends around renewable electricity demand in other industries, we know it’s only a matter of time before brands in our industries become interested.
“We wanted to get ahead of the curve and anticipate our customer demands before they even ask. That way, working together with brands, we can push sustainability even further. We look forward to achieving our renewable electricity goals in collaboration with all our customers.”
What would you say to other Taiwanese companies thinking about joining RE100?
“In November 2018, we hosted an event in partnership with RE100 where we invited Taiwanese companies to learn more about committing to source 100% renewable electricity. Speakers from research organizations also discussed how businesses can start purchasing clean electricity and invest in energy production.
“Our goal is to influence policy and break down regulatory barriers to facilitate more renewable energy development. Over time, we can then bring down the price of renewable energy and hopefully achieve cost-parity with fossil fuels.”
To find out more about the drivers for going 100% renewable read our latest RE100 Annual Progress and Insights Report.