News

  • Newsletter: Annual Report, strengthening EU policy, and planning the year ahead

    GLOBAL NEWS

    Accelerating Change: RE100 Annual Report 2017

    Corporate sourcing of renewable electricity can be a major driver of the transition to a robust, zero-emissions economy, according to the 2017 RE100 Annual Report, published during Davos. The report also highlights the various regional approaches being taken by RE100 members progressing towards 100% renewable electricity goals, and reflects on campaign achievements over the last year. Coinciding with the launch, Danske Bank Group, Gatwick Airport Limited and Royal Philips became members of RE100, following Bankia in early January. 

    Celebrating RE100 - new video

    An innovative new video produced by CBS EcoMedia showcases RE100 and features interviews with members Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and IKEA Group. “Why are companies doing this? The cost of renewable energy is coming down, rapidly,” says Jim Walker, Co-Founder of The Climate Group. “When you are using on-site renewables, you are managing volatility in the price of your energy supply, you’re generating your own electrons and you are buying them from yourself - you don’t have to buy them at a retail price, so it’s cheaper, just makes good business sense.” Watch the 3 minute video.

    Knowledge sharing: Power Purchase Agreements

    Participants on a recent webinar hosted by the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Business Renewables Center (BRC) and RE100 heard how large companies are increasingly looking to off-site renewable energy contracts to meet their sustainability targets. The webinar looked at the BRC’s new practical tools for helping companies use Power Purchase Agreements. 


    EUROPE

    Powering a cleaner future: RE100 and Google partner on EU energy event

    RE100 and Google have convened businesses and EU policymakers at a unique event in Brussels, to discuss how to create the right market conditions in Europe to help leading companies deliver on their commitments to 100% renewable power. Maroš Šefčovič, Vice President of Energy Union at the European Commission emphasized the importance of corporate demand in driving the energy transition. Senior speakers from RE100 members Google, IKEA Group, Nestlé and Swiss Re highlighted the business case for renewable power. The event follows on from a RE100 report calling for changes in EU energy policy to help businesses reap the benefits of renewable power in Europe.


    INDIA

    Tata Motors Limited: peer-to-peer learning webinar

    This RE100 peer-to-peer learning webinar enabled members to hear of Tata Motors’ experience of direct sourcing of renewable electricity via India’s Open Access mechanism and third party procurement. Abhay Pathak, Sustainability Lead at Tata Motors shared the company’s successes and challenges in sourcing renewable electricity to date, and participants gained a better understanding of the Indian renewable energy market.


    DATES FOR YOU DIARIES

    February 2017 (date TBC): RE100 markets and policy webinar, with a guest speaker from WRI - This webinar will focus on the relationship between regulatory requirements, national targets, emissions caps and voluntary renewable energy purchases in the US. 

    February 13, 2017, 4.15 - 5:30pm: ‘The Critical Role of Business for Sustainable Cities’ event at GreenBiz in Phoenix, Arizona, US - The Climate Group is collaborating with Arizona State University, WBCSD and GreenBiz on a breakout session focused on business’ role in sustainable city growth. 

    March 2017 (date TBC): RE100 webinar on variable tariff calculation for solar in India - This RE100 markets and policy webinar will cover an introduction to India’s variable tariff, understanding of its structure, a simple excel based tool to calculate it, and case studies from Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu states. 

    March 21-22, 2017: RECs Market Meeting 2007, Amsterdam, The Netherlands -This year’s RECs Market Meeting will focus on the demand-side of the electricity market. The event will look at the EU Renewable Energy Directive, US PPA growth, tracking mechanisms, and market changes in India, the UAE and Brazil. The event is expected to draw 300 leading European renewable procurement experts. Damian Ryan, Acting CEO of The Climate Group, will be speaking on behalf of RE100.

    March 2017 (date TBC): RE100 technical support webinar - credible claims - This will be another chance to join our webinar on making credible claims around renewable electricity usage, following a report by the RE100 Technical Advisory Group last year. The webinar will be aimed at companies that have joined the campaign in the last six months. 

    June 6-8, 2017– CEM8, Beijing, China - China will host the eighth Clean Energy Ministerial, the annual meeting of energy ministers from 24 member countries and the European Union. More information to follow.

    For the latest on all upcoming events, please visit the our events page.

  • Powering a cleaner future: RE100 and Google partner on EU energy event

    RE100 and Google have convened businesses and policymakers to discuss how to create the right market conditions in Europe to help leading companies deliver on their commitments to 100% renewable power.

    RE100 is a collaborative, global initiative of the world’s most influential businesses committed to 100% renewable power – led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP.

    The unique event was held at Google’s offices in Brussels, and comes as policymakers work to shape the Energy Union ‘Winter Package’, which aims to phase out coal subsidies, reduce energy use and lower carbon emissions across the EU.

    It follows a RE100 report published in November last year, backed by RE100 members BT Group, Google, IKEA Group, Royal DSM and Unilever, calling for easier access to renewable power and assurance that EU Member States will all play their part in achieving 27% renewable energy by 2030. 

    The big challenge now is how to make sure we integrate renewables better”, explained Maroš Šefčovič, the European Commission’s Energy Union Vice President, interviewed on stage by journalist Sonja van Renssen.

    “Corporate demand is absolutely key – it shows 100% renewable power is possible, and makes strong business sense”, Mr. Šefčovič continued, urging companies to communicate this message to governments.

    “If you want to go 100% renewable, it shouldn’t be tempered by administrative or technical barriers”, he added, suggesting that Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) offered a long-term solution for businesses, while Guarantees of Origin certificates also had a role to play in developing the electricity market.

    The event featured two panel discussions, bringing together a number of RE100 members, EU policymakers and investors. 

    Exploring the business case for renewable power

    Vincent Eckert, Head of Internal Environmental Management at Swiss Re was quick to point out the financial risks associated with inaction on climate change – the reason the company became a founding member of RE100. He said that as well as de-risking large renewable energy projects around the world, Swiss Re is building a large solar plant in New York state, expected to be very profitable.

    Monica Mireles Serrano, Senior Advisor of EU Environmental Policy at IKEA Group, highlighted that the company’s investment in renewables was driven by business from the outset, and that IKEA now had more wind turbines than stores.

    “Now we want to make renewables available for our customers”, Ms. Mireles Serrano said, pointing out that IKEA has switched its lighting range to LED, and is selling solar panels in several countries.

    Google’s Director of Global Infrastructure, François Sterin, said renewables were becoming increasingly affordable. The internet giant is already sourcing 2.6 gigawatts of wind and solar power globally, and has announced it will reach 100% renewable electricity this year.

    “The cost of renewables is falling so quickly it makes our first deal look expensive”, Mr. Sterin said. But he said the cost of storage still needed to come down to help develop the business case further.

    Meanwhile, Elizabeth Press, Director of Planning and Programme Support at IRENA emphasized that renewable energy has gone from a niche option to an economically and technically preferred solution. She said that supportive policies have been driving down costs through accelerated deployment, and that policy security was vital for market integration.

    Growing and developing the market

    The second panel discussion, moderated by Nick Mabey, CEO of E3G, took a closer look at the policy changes needed to ensure the EU maintains its leadership position on renewables and enables purchasing to scale effectively up to 2030.

    Jill Duggan, Director of Policy at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) and Director of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group, pointed to a lack of ambition by EU policymakers currently, underlining the importance of action by individual Member States.

    Luis Quiroga, Infastructure Investments at HgCapital, argued that there was a lack of long-term stability for businesses sourcing renewables, echoing earlier calls for greater policy security to take this risk away.

    Nestlé’s Head of Environmental Sustainability, Pascal Gréverath put the responsibility back on business, saying that the company joined RE100 to “send a strong signal to the political world that the private sector is ready to buy”.

    But Kathleen van Brempt, MEP (Belgium) urged progressive businesses to be vocal in their support for renewables. The Winter Package isn’t ambitious enough, she said, and companies should be lobbying policymakers to make improvements – as RE100 members have done.

    Jill Duggan, CISL added that leading businesses should be influencing their supply chains and customers to switch to renewables too.

    Audience participation

    The event audience was invited to contribute throughout. A survey of those in the room, for example, revealed that most participants worked for a company that has a 100% renewable energy goal.

    There were also questions put to the panelists from participants at the event, and also from young people online.

    How to ensure additionality in the market place was a re-occurring question, and François Sterin, Google pointed to the company’s PPAs, adding that any certificates it buys are for specific projects.

    Members of the audience also said that unclear market rules were the biggest challenge to the adoption of renewable energy. When asked about Nestlés number 1 ask of government, Pascal Gréverath said harmonization of PPA rules across the EU was the most important task ahead.

    In his closing remarks, Mike Peirce, the new Corporate Partnerships Director at The Climate Group, congratulated RE100 members on their progress on sourcing renewable power in Europe – where 50 of the 87 RE100 members are head-quartered.

    To read more about RE100’s call for EU policy changes to enable the faster deployment of renewable power, click here.

    To learn more about Google’s approach to renewable power, in a Climate TV interview with Gary Demasi, Google’s Director of Operations – Data Center Energy and Location Strategy, click here.

  • Video: leading companies make business case to go 100% renewable

    Leading global companies have confirmed the strong business case for sourcing 100% renewable electricity in the newly published RE100 Annual Report 2017.

    RE100, led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, brings together “a growing group of major, influential companies from around the world who are setting targets to go 100% renewable energy in their electricity procurement,” says Jim Walker, Co-Founder of The Climate Group.

    Growing rapidly, RE100 now has 87 members across a wide range of sectors – including globally recognized businesses like IKEA Group, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Tata Motors.

    The report shows how RE100 companies are now creating demand for approximately 107 terawatt/hour (TWh) of renewable power annually, which is around the same amount of electricity as consumed by The Netherlands.

    “Why are companies doing this? The cost of energy is coming down, rapidly,” continues Jim Walker in a video produced by CBS EcoMedia. “When you are using on-site renewables, you are managing volatility and the price of your energy supply, you are generating your own electrons and you are buying it from yourself – you don’t have to buy it at a retail price, so it’s cheaper. Just makes good business sense. Also, it’s just the right thing to do – contributing to better air quality.”

    34 RE100 members have reported that they are generating renewable energy at their facilities – with wind and solar photovoltaics clearly the most popular technologies.

    “We did a deal with a Texas wind farm,” confirms Nick Gunn, SVP, Global Corporate Services, Hewlett Packard Enterprise: “We’re procuring now 112 megawatts of power from wind farms, which is actually enough to provide enough electricity for our entire IT infrastructure.”

    “Businesses have a huge impact on the ability to inspire an energy revolution. The more companies like Hewlett Packard Enterprise demand renewable energy, the more creation of renewable energy sources there will be.

    The company has the goal of raising the use of renewable energy from its current levels of 13% globally to 40% by 2020, with the ultimate target of achieving 100%. Its strategy focuses on reducing energy consumption and increasing energy efficiency, while both generating on-site clean energy and purchasing it through agreements with off-site providers.

    IKEA Group is also heavily investing in renewable energy, having pledged US$1.13 billion for renewables and climate action globally. Lars Petersson, President & CEO, IKEA USA, proudly underlines how “right as we speak, 71% of all energy consumed at IKEA is actually produced by renewable sources – and by 2020, we will be 100%.”

    “We are doing it in many ways: we actually have production of solar power on the roofs of almost all our stores and warehouses. But we also have two windfarms – one in Hoopeston, Illinois, and one in Cameron County, Texas.”

    Amy Davidsen, North America Executive Director, The Climate Group adds: “Our hope is that RE100 just becomes the norm. By 2020, this is what every business does."

    “RE100 importance lies in two factors,” says Rachel KyteCEO of Sustainable Energy for All and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All. “One is that the purchasing of renewable energy in the long run positions companies to be at the leading edge of their own sector of industry. On the second hand, its importance lies in the message that sends to the financial sector.”

    “Business is a very important advocate for clean energy, because it speaks the language of hard economics,” points out Jim Walker. “It’s sending a strong signal to policymakers and the general public that this is the inevitable direction we’re going to move towards – a 100% clean energy economy.”

  • Blog: Innovation and business action drives the cost of renewable power to historic low

    World leaders from business and government have gathered in Davos this week for the World Economic Forum, with action on climate change high on the agenda. In this blog, Damian Ryan, Acting CEO, The Climate Group, looks at how leadership from the private sector is driving the clean energy transition.

    The unprecedented speed at which the Paris Agreement on climate change was ratified in November last year signified a global shift from negotiation to action and implementation. With 125 United Nations member states now committed to national climate targets, and that number increasing steadily, the role of business in implementing the clean energy transition that will underpin bold climate action is becoming ever more pronounced.

    679 businesses and investors, representing over US$20.7 trillion in assets under management, have now made commitments through the We Mean Business coalition. A prime example of this can be seen in the RE100 campaign, led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, which now includes 87 of the world’s leading corporates committed to 100% renewable power.

    The newly published RE100 Annual Report 2017 demonstrates that we are on the edge of a global energy transformation, which will radically change how we produce and consume energy and end our use of fossil fuels. Launched to coincide with the climate and energy day at the World Economic Forum, the report also shows how campaign members are creating demand for 107 Terawatt hours (TWh) of renewable electricity annually, about the same as that used by The Netherlands.

    This week, we also welcomed three major European businesses to the RE100 campaign; Danske Bank GroupGatwick Airport Limited and Royal Philips, bringing the total number of companies to have made We Mean Business commitments to over 500.

    INVESTMENT AND COMMITMENT

    This investment from the business world is helping to drive clean technology innovation and uptake to the point where the cost of renewables has fallen dramatically, and is now ready to disrupt the monopoly of fossil fuel-based energy worldwide.

    As new research from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) shows, wind and solar power, which accounted for approximately 90% of investments in renewable power in 2015, are now competitive with conventional sources of electricity, with costs plunging in recent years.

    Since 2009, the cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules has fallen by 80% and wind turbines by nearly a third, with solar now the cheapest form of new energy.

    The world record for unsubsidized power from solar is also now below $30 per megawatt hour (MWh). To put this into perspective, generation costs of most coal-fired power plants range between US$35 and US$60 per MWh, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

    In 2015, half of the global investment in new energy went towards renewables, and in December last year, the winning bid for a proposed offshore wind farm development in the US provided the federal government with over double what it received for new oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico earlier in 2016.

    Here in Davos, the focus on scaling up climate action and transitioning to ‘net-zero emission’ economies has been central to many debates and discussions, with the words of Al Gore, Former US Vice President, being particularly poignant: “We’re seeing continued, stunning declines in the cost of renewable energy, energy efficiency, batteries and energy storage — giving nations and communities around the world dramatic new opportunities to embrace a sustainable future based on a low carbon economy.”

    OVERWHELMING BUSINESS CASE

    In these turbulent times of shifting political landscapes, and with a new US Administration taking office on Friday, we’ve seen a refreshing reaffirmation of commitment to action on climate change in Davos.

    Discussions on climate action and energy have reiterated the overwhelming business case for implementing the Paris Agreement, raising the ambition of national climate targets, and transitioning to a ‘net-zero’ global economy.

    When we consider the strength of the business case for the clean energy transition, it is becoming clear that it is market rather than political forces that are increasingly driving momentum. But bad policies could still delay this inevitable transition and the enormous economic and health benefits it will bring.

    Smart business leaders know this, which is why the Low-carbon USA initiative that brings together more than 530 companies and 100 investors, is calling on the new US administration and Congress to accelerate a low carbon economy, and continue participation in the Paris Agreement.

    The company signatories, which include RE100 members NIKEHP Inc.IKEAJohnson & JohnsonMars, IncorporatedStarbucks, and Unilever, represent over US$1 trillion in annual revenue, and are headquartered across 44 states, employing about 1.8 million people. This represents a potent lobby for bold climate action.

    CLEANTECH BREAKTHROUGHS

    Investment and development of clean technologies is central to this progress. Breakthroughs in energy storage are enabling the integration of larger shares of renewable electricity, with off-grid renewables increasingly complementing grid-based options to expand access to clean energy.

    According to IRENA, battery storage for electricity could increase from around 1 GW today to 250 GW by 2030, with the market value of battery storage reaching US$2.2 billion in 2015 and expected to hit US$14 billion by 2020.

    With the first truly global climate agreement now up and running, and increasing numbers of leading businesses from around adopting renewable power, we are already on the journey to a better, cleaner future for all.

  • RE100 Annual Report: corporate sourcing of renewables holds key to net-zero emissions economy

    Corporate sourcing of renewable electricity can be a major driver of the transition to a robust, zero-emissions economy, according to this year's RE100 Annual Report, released today to coincide with the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos.

    RE100 is the global, collaborative initiative of the world’s most influential companies committed to 100% renewable power, led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP.

    The report highlights the speed of the corporate transition to cleaner energy. Many RE100 members have set an end goal for achieving 100% renewable electricity before 2024, and 11 members already achieved 100% renewable electricity prior to 2015 – sending a clear market signal to governments and investors around the world that growing demand for renewable energy must be met sooner rather than later.

    Based on the latest available electricity consumption data (2015) from RE100 members, other findings in today’s report show:

    • Member companies (87 and growing) are now creating demand for approximately 107 TWh of renewable power annually; around the same amount of electricity as consumed by The Netherlands;
    • Members making fastest progress towards their 100% renewable electricity targets include Goldman Sachs, which jumped from 14% renewable electricity in 2014 to 86% in 2015; Elopak, which went from 18% to 86% renewable during the same year; and H&M, which went from 27% to 78%;
    • Around half of the electricity being consumed by members reporting electricity use in the U.S. is from renewables, accounting for the highest amount of renewable electricity being sourced in any country worldwide (6.8 TWh in 2015, with unbundled renewable energy attribute certificate purchases (RECs) being the most popular approach that year);
    • Almost all of electricity usage reported by members in Europe is from renewables (14.4 TWh in 2015, with an even split between unbundled renewable energy attribute certificate purchases and green tariffs as the most popular approaches that year);
    • Nearly a quarter of the electricity usage reported by members in China is from renewables (0.4 TWh in 2015, with unbundled renewable energy attribute certificate purchases being the most popular approach that year);
    • Around a tenth of RE100 electricity use being reported in India is from renewables (0.1 TWh in 2015, with Power Purchasing Agreements (PPAs) being the most popular approach that year, followed by on-site generation);
    • Of the 34 RE100 members reporting the use of self-generation on-site at their facilities, wind and solar PV were by far the most popular technologies.

    The report also shows that, within the membership, Telecommunication Services is the closest sector to reaching 100% renewable electricity (97% in 2015).

    Damian Ryan, Acting CEO of The Climate Group said: “It is really encouraging to see that more companies than ever are committing to bold climate action, helping us move towards a net zero-emissions economy. But we need to see faster progress. In order to deliver on the Paris Agreement and keep global warming well below two degrees, we need governments to remove policy barriers and create investment incentives that can provide easier access to renewable energy. And we need more business leaders to influence the usage of renewable power right along their supply chains.”

    Speaking from Davos, Paul Simpson, Chief Executive Officer, CDP said: “From the US to China, the global energy landscape is transforming before our eyes. The RE100 report shows this change is in no small part thanks to an increasing number of corporations demanding renewable energy. This powerful market signal should embolden investors to shift capital and spur policy makers to ensure an enabling environment to meet the growing appetite for renewable power.”

    New RE100 members announced today

    Also today, coinciding with the 2017 RE100 Annual Report launch, three major European businesses have joined the campaign; Danske Bank GroupGatwick Airport Limited and Royal Philips, with a commitment to 100% renewable electricity across their global operations.

    Danske Bank Group is a Nordic universal bank, headquartered in Copenhagen and listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen. The bank reached 100% renewable electricity in 2015 by purchasing unbundled renewable energy attribute certificates equivalent to its entire electricity consumption. Gatwick Airport Limited in the UK took a similar approach to become 100% renewable in 2013, and now has a further target to increase its share of direct purchasing by 2020. Leading Dutch health technology company Royal Philips has a goal of reaching 100% renewable electricity by 2020. Philips is currently working with four other international companies to sign long-term PPAs in the countries in which they all operate.

    Frans van Houten, President and Chief Executive Officer at Royal Philips, who is co-chairing the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos this week, said: “We are the first generation that can really feel the impact of climate change and we believe we are the last generation that can do something about it.”

    RE100 members recognise the value of transitioning to renewable electricity; from greater control over energy costs and financial savings, to delivery on sustainability goals and enhanced reputations.

    General Motors has reported savings of US$5 million annually from using renewable energy, with this figure likely to increase significantly with prospective projects coming online and the supply of renewable energy increasing.

    Barry Parkin, Chief Sustainability Officer at Mars, Incorporated, the first U.S. company to have joined RE100, said: “The rapid expansion of membership in RE100 is a great indicator of the momentum behind renewable electricity. The business case is now evident and we expect continued acceleration of corporate engagement.”

    Click here for the full report.

  • Newsletter: reflecting on success, and plans for the year ahead

    GLOBAL NEWS

    Google to go 100% renewable next year

    Congratulations to Google - the internet giant has announced that in 2017 it will reach its RE100 goal of sourcing 100% renewable electricity. On joining RE100 during COP21, Google had set an interim goal to triple its renewable energy purchasing by 2025. Now, it is the world’s largest corporate buyer of renewable power, with commitments totalling 2.6 GWh of wind and solar energy. In a blog, Urs Hölzle, Senior Vice President, Technical Infrastructure at Google said: “Having a long-term stable cost of renewable power provides protection against price swings in energy.” RE100 worked with Google around its announcement and saw coverage in Bloomberg Markets, Guardian Sustainable Business, Bloomberg New Energy Finance and on the World Economic Forum website.


    EUROPE

    RE100 inspires councils to source 100% clean energy

    RE100 was championed by UK Climate Change and Industry Minister Nick Hurd at a unique event in London, that brought together a prestigious group of leading UK businesses, cities and local authorities all signed up to 100% clean energy. RE100 partnered with Here Now and Maitland Green to show the Minister that business and local authorities are committed to clean energy and are looking for support from national government.

    Investor support for RE100

    ShareAction, a responsible investment charity, coordinates an RE100 investor group that helps to persuade more publicly listed companies to commit to 100% renewable electricity. So far, five companies have joined RE100 following investor engagement and AGM activism co-ordinated by ShareAction - with with questions facilitated at 14 company AGMs during 2016. Find more information on ShareAction's work to support RE100 here.


    INDIA

    RE100 extends corporate engagement in India

    For the first time since RE100 began outreach in India last year, we have connected with corporates in Bengaluru; the capital of India’s southern Karnataka state and the hub of India’s high-tech industry. Speakers from The Climate Group and CDP presented RE100 at a steering committee meeting of the Green Power Market Development Group, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry and the World Resources Institute. Anurag Priyadarshi, Global Sustainability Manager at Tata Global Beverages said there was much excitement at the company over the potential for renewable energy, right along its supply chain.


    CHINA 

    Novo Nordisk harnessing wind power in China

    Working towards its goal of being 100% renewable globally by 2020, leading healthcare company Novo Nordisk has shared its success over transferring its production site in Tianjin, China from coal to wind power. The Taibus Banner Wind Project consists of 33 turbines, which deliver 200 GWh of electricity to the North China power grid annually, saving 30,000 tonnes of CO2 in 2016. Read the full update here.


    DATES FOR YOU DIARIES

    RESCHEDULED: January 13, 2017: RE100 peer exchange webinar - Tata Motors' renewable energy journey - Tata Motors Limited's Sustainability Lead, Abhay Pathak, will share its experiences of adapting its business model to incorporate more renewable energy in its electricity mix, as well as sourcing renewable energy via open access, onsite installations, and third party procurement. The automobile company will also share the challenges it is experiencing, for example regulatory bottlenecks. Invitations to follow to members.

    January 14-15, 2017: IRENA General Assembly, Abu Dhabi, UAE / Launch of RE100 Annual Report - There will be a session dedicated to corporate sourcing of renewables at the IRENA General Assembly on January 14. Unilever is confirmed to speak and share experiences of working to 100% renewable power as part of RE100. We intend to launch the RE100 Annual Report on this day. This year the report will take a closer look at regional trends and the strategies that companies are using to journey to 100% renewable power.

    January 2017 (date TBC): RE100-Business Renewables Center - PPA focus. Invitations to follow to members.

    February 2, 2017: ‘Powering a cleaner future: Unlocking business demand for renewables in Europe’, Brussels, Belgium -  In the context of the development of the new EU Renewable Energy Directive and Market Design Initiative, this event - co-hosted by RE100 and Google - will highlight to policymakers and other stakeholders the high level of corporate demand for renewable power in Europe, and discuss the framework conditions required by businesses to fulfil their renewable energy ambitions. This event follows on from our recently published RE100 report which calls for key changes to EU energy policy. European Commissioner Vice President Sefcovic will attend and there are confirmed speakers from Google and Swiss Re. Save the date invitations have been sent. Please contact Sandra Roling with any questions -SRoling@theclimategroup.org

    February 2017 (date TBC): RE100 markets and policy webinar, with a guest speaker from WRI (tbc) - This webinar will focus on the relationship between regulatory requirements like RPS’s, national targets, emissions caps and voluntary renewable energy purchases in the US. Invitations to follow to members.

    March 21-22, 2017: RECs Market Meeting 2007, Amsterdam, The Netherlands - All RE100 members are invited to attend next year’s RECS Market Meeting, focusing on the demand-side of the electricity market. The event will look at the EU Renewable Energy Directive, U.S. PPA growth, tracking mechanisms, and market changes in India, the UAE and Brazil. The event is expected to draw 300 leading European renewable procurement experts. Damian Ryan, Acting CEO of The Climate Group, will be speaking on behalf of RE100. Register here.

    March 2017 (date TBC): RE100 technical support webinar - credible claims - This will be another chance to join our webinar on making credible claims, after the launch of a report by the RE100 Technical Advisory Group in May this year. The webinar will be aimed at companies that have joined the campaign in the last six months.


    AND FINALLY

    We hope you enjoy the festive season! We’re looking forward to an exciting new year.

  • Google set to reach 100% renewable electricity

    Google has announced that it will reach its 100% renewable electricity goal in 2017.

    During the COP21 climate negotiations last year, Google joined RE100 – an ever-expanding group of the world’s most influential companies committed to 100% renewable power, led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP.

    Google had an interim goal to triple its renewable energy purchasing by 2025. But the internet giant is going to reach 100% renewable power sooner than expected.

    Today, Google is the world’s largest corporate buyer of renewable power, with commitments totalling 2.6 gigawatts of wind and solar energy. The company will meet the 100% milestone through a combination of direct purchases from renewable developers and through partnerships with utility providers.

    Damian Ryan, Acting CEO of The Climate Group, welcomed the news: “Our sincere congratulations to Google on reaching this fantastic milestone earlier than expected – it shows companies everywhere that a complete transition to renewable power is both possible and makes business sense.”

    In a blog, Google’s Senior Vice President, Technical Infrastructure, Urs Hölzle highlighted the business case for corporates to switch to renewables: “Over the last six years, the cost of wind and solar came down 60% and 80%, respectively, proving that renewables are increasingly becoming the lowest cost option.

    He continued: “Electricity costs are one of the largest components of our operating expenses at our data centers, and having a long-term stable cost of renewable power provides protection against price swings in energy.”

    Also today, Google has published a white paper setting out its longer-term ambition to help green the entire electricity grid with clean, zero-carbon energy. Its plans include promoting policies that empower energy consumers to choose their energy supply.

    “The science tells us that tackling climate change is an urgent global priority”, wrote Urs Hölzle in his blog. “We believe the private sector, in partnership with policy leaders, must take bold steps and that we can do so in a way that leads to growth and opportunity”…“Our ultimate goal is to create a world where everyone – not just Google – has access to clean energy.”

    Damian Ryan responded: “Google has already been a driving force within RE100 and we’re delighted that the company wants to go further and use its influence to help decarbonize the grid. Google’s continued leadership will help many more businesses to reach their own goals for 100% renewable power.”

    Google was one of several companies to back a recent RE100 report calling on EU policy makers to put renewables center-stage.

  • Blog: Google is set to reach 100% renewable electricity - and it's just the beginning

    Google joined RE100 at COP21 with an interim target of tripling its renewable energy purchasing by 2025. One year on, the internet giant has announced that in 2017 it will reach its goal of sourcing 100% renewable electricity to power its global operations. Here, Urs Hölzle, Senior Vice President, Technical Infastructure blogs on the company’s enormous achievement – and its plans to go even further in future.

    Every year people search on Google trillions of times; every minute people upload more than 400 hours of YouTube videos. All of that takes an incredible amount of processing power — which means energy. Our engineers have spent years perfecting Google's data centers, making them 50% more energy efficient than the industry average. But we still need a lot of energy to power the products and services that our users depend on. We began purchasing renewable energy to reduce our carbon footprint and address climate change — but it also makes business sense.

    I’m thrilled to announce that in 2017 Google will reach 100% renewable energy for our global operations — including both our data centers and offices. We were one of the first corporations to create large-scale, long-term contracts to buy renewable energy directly; we signed our first agreement to purchase all the electricity from a 114-megawatt wind farm in Iowa, in 2010. Today, we are the world’s largest corporate buyer of renewable power, with commitments reaching 2.6 gigawatts (2,600 megawatts) of wind and solar energy. That’s bigger than many large utilities and more than twice as much as the 1.21 gigawatts it took to send Marty McFly back to the future.

    To reach this goal we’ll be directly buying enough wind and solar electricity annually to account for every unit of electricity our operations consume, globally. And we're focusing on creating new energy from renewable sources, so we only buy from projects that are funded by our purchases.

    Over the last six years, the cost of wind and solar came down 60% and 80%, respectively, proving that renewables are increasingly becoming the lowest cost option. Electricity costs are one of the largest components of our operating expenses at our data centers, and having a long-term stable cost of renewable power provides protection against price swings in energy.

    Our 20 renewable energy projects also help support communities, from Grady County, OK, to Rutherford County, NC, to the Atacama Region of Chile to municipalities in Sweden. To date, our purchasing commitments will result in infrastructure investments of more than $3.5 billion globally, about two-thirds of that in the United States. These projects also generate tens of millions of dollars per year in revenue to local property owners, and tens of millions more to local and national governments in tax revenue.

    So, we’re on track to match our global energy consumption on an annual basis by next year. But this is just the first step. As we look to the immediate future, we’ll continue to pursue these direct contracts as we grow, with an even greater focus on regional renewable energy purchases in places where we have data centers and significant operations. Since the wind doesn’t blow 24 hours a day, we’ll also broaden our purchases to a variety of energy sources that can enable renewable power, every hour of every day. Our ultimate goal is to create a world where everyone — not just Google — has access to clean energy. For more on these next steps, read our white paper.

      

    Operating our business in an environmentally sustainable way has been a core value from the beginning, and we’re always working on new ideas to make sustainability a reality — like enabling the building of healthy workplaces and creating a living, breathing dashboard for the planet. We’ve reported our carbon footprint and published information on our sustainability programs for many years in white papers, blog posts, and on our website. Now, we’ve put all this information together in a new Environmental Report.

    You can also check out our new environment website, where we share stories of how we are finding new ways to do more while using less. Most of our on-campus sustainability initiatives were started by a few passionate Googlers, and have now grown into company-wide efforts. From the solar panels on our roofs to our bike-to-work program, these initiatives sit at the heart of our company culture and help both us and our users reduce our impact on the environment.

    The science tells us that tackling climate change is an urgent global priority. We believe the private sector, in partnership with policy leaders, must take bold steps and that we can do so in a way that leads to growth and opportunity. And we have a responsibility to do so — to our users and the environment.

    We have lots of progress left to make, but these achievements we're announcing today feel like a breath of fresh air. Now, back to work.

    First published on the Google blog, here.

  • RE100 extends its corporate engagement in India

    For the first time since RE100 began outreach in India last year, RE100 has connected with corporates in Bengaluru; the capital of India’s southern Karnataka state and the hub of India’s high-tech industry.

    Global cloud services corporation Wipro Limited and leading multinational company Tata Global Beverages were among the attendees of the Green Power Market Development Group Steering Committee meeting; jointly organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry and the World Resources Institute.

    Speakers included Rashi Gupta, India Partnership Manager, The Climate Group; Shailesh Telang, Senior Project Officer CDP India; S Chandrasekhar, Chairman, Energy & Power Sub-Committee CII Southern Region and Managing Director, Bhoruka Power Corporation Limited; and Nisha Jayaram, of CII Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre.

    Rashi Gupta shared the global success of the RE100 campaign, led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP. There are now 83 members of RE100, all committed to transitioning their electricity supplies to 100% renewable energy. Infosys was the first Indian company to join the initiative, followed by Tata Motors Limited and Dalmia Cement this year. Many more are expected to follow.

    Anurag Priyadarshi, Global Sustainability Manager at Tata Global Beverages said there was much excitement at the company over the potential for renewable energy, right along its supply chain.

    Corporates are however facing challenges in going 100% renewable in India, such as lengthy timescales for government approval on renewable energy projects, a lack of long-term policy stability, and practicalities around implementation. These challenges were discussed during a panel discussion between corporate energy buyers and developers.

    Rashi Gupta, India Partnership Manager at The Climate Group, said: “Leading companies realise that renewable energy benefits their reputations and that it can bring much-needed cost savings too. RE100 provides a platform for companies in India to showcase their ambition and progress, while sending a clear message to governments and investors that renewables are good for business.”

    Later this month Tata Motors will be guest speaking on a RE100 webinar designed to provide peer-to-peer learning for corporates wanting to source renewables in India. For more information on the opportunities in India’s changing market place, read our RE100 briefing.  

  • Gathering momentum: RE100 inspires UK cities and local authorities to work to 100% clean energy by 2050

    RE100 has been championed by UK Climate Change and Industry Minister Nick Hurd at a unique event in London that brought together a prestigious group of leading businesses, cities and local authorities all signed up to 100% clean energy.

    RE100 is a global, collaborative initiative of the world’s most influential companies committed to 100% renewable power, working to shift the energy system away from fossil fuels and accelerate a low carbon economy. The continued growth and success of RE100, led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, inspired Here Now to form UK100 last year – an expanding club of 67 UK cities and local authorities signed up to 100% clean energy by 2050.

    The week after the UK government gave its Autumn Statement, the two initiatives partnered with Maitland Green over a roundtable event in Westminster, bringing together dozens of leaders from business and government and a range of wider stakeholders, to showcase momentum for 100% clean energy and demonstrate that collaboration is key.

    The Minister praised both RE100 and UK100 for bringing people together and pushing for further and faster climate action. Acknowledging turbulent times in global politics he said we need to see climate leadership now more than ever – and distributed leadership. He agreed to work with the city and council leaders as the UK government implements its industrial strategy, which has clean energy at its heart.

    In a keynote speech Nick Hurd said: “Cities and communities are important partners for the Government as we transition to a global low carbon economy. Together we can demonstrate that cutting emissions is compatible with economic growth as we build a diverse energy system fit for the 21st century.”

    During the event, the Minister also heard from a number of RE100 members already working to 100% renewable power.

    Caroline Hill, Head of Sustainability at Land Securities, which has installed one of the largest solar arrays on a shopping centre in Europe, said: “Land Securities has been sourcing 100% renewable electricity since April this year, and we’re now working closely with our retail and office customers, and other stakeholders, to increase the wider uptake of renewables. We welcome more collaborative working between the private and public sectors – for example, reviewing how excess capacity generated on private sites can feed into local heating districts. By working together we can accelerate the shift to a cleaner future.”

    Robert Williams, General Manager, Procurement – Utilities, Power & Cooling at BT Group, asked the Minister to reduce the complexity of electricity charges.

    Adam Elman, Head of Global Delivery:  Sustainability / Plan A at Marks & Spencer, highlighted the business case for renewable power.

    Abyd Karmali, Managing Director – Climate Finance at Bank of America underlined the need for supportive government policy.

    Damian Ryan, Acting CEO of The Climate Group said: “RE100 is driving corporate demand for renewables in the UK and around the world, and I’m thrilled to hear it is inspiring local authorities to sign up to go 100% renewable too. Scaling up demand for renewables is good for everyone. More demand means more supply and hence lower energy costs for businesses, councils and hard-working families. Going 100% renewable makes sense for communities and our economy alike.”

    Click here to learn more on how leading councils and businesses are progressing toward 100% clean energy.