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  • Vestas joins RE100, aims to influence policy and bring about market change

    Danish wind turbine manufacturer, Vestas, has joined The Climate Group and CDP’s RE100 campaign, to help shape the global energy market in favour of renewable power.

    An established leader in the design, manufacture, installation and servicing of wind turbines around the world, Vestas has been sourcing 100% of its own electricity use from renewables since 2013 – meaning every Vestas wind turbine is built using 100% renewable power.

    As its electricity consumption grows in future, Vestas is committed to staying 100% renewable. Furthermore, the company will work in partnership with RE100 to help influence more ambitious renewable energy targets and a policy framework for Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) that enables more renewables in the energy mix.

    “Vestas is already using 100% renewable electricity across its own operations to create wind power infrastructure,” says Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100, The Climate Group. “Now the company is furthering that leadership by joining RE100, and calling for important policy changes that will enable more companies to plug into renewables too.”



    Business case for action

    “The private sector is increasingly committed to meeting the challenges of climate change through the use of renewable energy, and so is Vestas,” says Morten Dyrholm, Group Senior Vice President of Marketing, Communications & Public Affairs, Vestas Wind Systems. “We pioneered the wind industry by building the first wind turbine, and four decades later we are manufacturing wind turbines that produce energy at a cost that is competitive with fossil fuels.”

    He continues, “RE100 underlines our joint efforts to make renewable energy an easy choice for companies, because it’s the right thing to do for the planet, and because it makes economic sense. We are delivering the sustainable energy solutions but we also want to be part of the solution, which this commitment underlines.  We hope this will inspire other companies in the sector.”

    Vestas has 85 gigawatts (GW) of wind turbines across 75 companies, and has installed more wind turbines than any competitor. The company primarily sources renewable power for its own operations via PPAs or with Vestas-owned renewable power plants, such as its test turbines in Denmark.

    “Having Vestas-owned wind power plants has definitely helped us to reach the [100%] target more quickly than if all the renewable power was purchased,” says Morten Dyrholm. We still face challenges in sourcing renewable electricity in, for example, China and India. In these markets, we are working on local solutions.”



    Influencing policy

    Vestas makes the case that, markets, infrastructure and polices need to reflect the reality that renewable energy is as cheap or cheaper than fossil-fuels. Therefore the company is calling for national and global policy changes including:

    • accelerating the phase-out of coal power plants by putting a meaningful prce on carbon;
    • a redesign of power markets flexible enough to handle a large share of renewables;
    • transparent and long-term regulatory frameworks, including targets for renewable energy, interconnectors and grid build-out; and,
    • electrifiction of the heating, cooling and transport sector.

    Vestas is calling on EU policymakers to provide greater certainty around the regulatory framework for the energy sector. Specifically, the company is recommending:

    • a legally binding EU renewable energy target of at least 35% by 2030; translated into clear national benchmarks for Member States;
    • a European power market that rewards flexible electricity supply and demand;
    • no investment support for the most polluting power plants; and,
    • a robust governance framework for EU energy and climate goals.

    RE100 policy asks

    RE100 is also asking EU policymakers to further open up Europe’s energy markets. Corporate sourcing of renewables is an important means of bringing capital and finance into renewable electricity infrastructure, and while many RE100 members are successfully sourcing renewables in many European countries, policy changes could help many more companies achieve 100% renewable power.

    “What we need is a clear, transparent and fair electricity market with long-term stability, that enables companies to purchase or generate renewable electricity for all of their operations in Europe,” argues Sam Kimmins.

    RE100 is calling on Members in the European Parliament to support a specific amendment to the Renewable Energy Directive, because it makes provision for corporate buyers – an important new market that can drive rapid growth in renewable electricity investment.

    To hear more about Vestas’ approach to and ambitions on renewable power, read our interview with Morten Dyrholm.