RE100, led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, is working together with the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Business Renewables Center (BRC) to accelerate the procurement of renewable energy by some of the world’s most influential companies. The partnership aims to increase renewable demand (buyers), find renewable opportunities (developers and intermediaries), and provide the means to bridge the two through tools and knowledge.
58 major businesses including Google and Walmart have now set 100% renewables targets through RE100, working together to increase demand for renewable energy and accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy. This, coupled with the BRC’s transactional expertise in supporting corporations signing large wind and solar deals and thereby adding more renewable energy to the grid, means the partnership has the potential to rocket boost corporate renewables use globally.
“The overall goal of both RE100 and the BRC is increasing the penetration of renewable energy,” says RMI Managing Director Hervé Touati. “A very small number of corporations led the way to show it is possible to have a determining role to increase the number of megawatts of wind and solar. It’s important that their learnings are shared.”
“We are seeing more and more companies making a commitment to 100% renewable power and joining RE100”, says Emily Farnworth, RE100 Campaign Director at The Climate Group. “By partnering with the BRC, we can ensure they are getting expert advice to help them deliver on those goals. By working together we hope to accelerate learning and speed up the growth of new renewable energy projects."
Corporate renewable energy use is growing. RE100 companies are on average halfway to being entirely powered by renewable electricity. However, many other companies that have set targets for procuring renewable energy have yet to act at a big enough scale.
“In 2012, there were 200 megawatts of corporate renewable energy added, in 2013, 500 megawatts, in 2014, 1,200 megawatts, and for 2015 we’re talking about 3,200 megawatts, so this train is going really fast,” says Hervé Touati. “The complication is that only 28 companies have contributed to this out of five hundred Fortune 500 companies.”
Around 43% of the Fortune 500 companies have sustainability targets, as do myriad other large corporations. Together, RE100 and the BRC aim to make those targets concrete and realizable.
“We’re not trying to convince companies to suddenly be green”, says Hervé Touati. “We’re trying to help companies that are trying to be green and support them to reach their goals, whatever those might be – including the 100% renewable power goals set through RE100."
RE100 and BRC are running a series of joint webinars for RE100 and BRC members, to enable the sharing of experiences and knowledge between major corporates. Previous topics have included power purchase agreements (PPAs) and China’s renewable energy market and policies. More recently, Bloomberg New Energy Finance provided insights on the global market.
Lily Donge, a principal at RMI and leader of the BRC, says, “The combination of RE100’s ability to secure and showcase commitments and the support and expertise from the BRC will help corporations drive the penetration of renewable energy as never before. By partnering, our collective reach is wider globally and deeper technically.”
“Each week we are seeing more and more corporations stepping up and taking real action to decarbonize our economy, not just because it is so important for our planet, but also because it makes good business sense to choose low-carbon strategies”, adds Jules Kortenhorst, CEO, Rocky Mountain Institute. “I am excited to see the partnership of RE100 and the BRC. Together we will help corporations shift their energy to low carbon.”
His words were echoed by those of Mark Kenber, CEO at The Climate Group, “The Paris Agreement is giving businesses the confidence to go further and faster when it comes to low carbon investment. We’re excited to be working in collaboration with the BRC to help RE100 members meet their goals.”
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