The sourcing of renewable electricity by corporate entities can be a major driver of the much-needed transition to a zero-emissions economy, said RE100 in its annual report, which also boasted the addition of three new major European businesses to its 100% renewable energy commitment campaign.
Released earlier this month, RE100 — the global initiative advocating corporate 100% renewable energy commitments — published its annual report, which outlines how corporate sourcing of renewable electricity can be a major driver of the necessary transition to a robust, zero-emissions economy. The report was published in advance of the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting, held last week in Davos, Switzerland.
First and foremost, the report outlined the current status of the initiative itself, with 87 of the world’s leading companies now members of RE100 — meaning that each of them have, in their own way, committed to sourcing 100% of their electricity needs from renewable energy sources. Together, the 87 companies have created demand for around 107 Terawatt-hours (TWh) of renewable electricity. 34 companies joined the initiative in 2016, and 11 companies have already succeeded in sourcing 100% of their electricity needs from renewables.
Other highlights from the initiative’s signatory members include:
- 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 broke things down according to sectors, and found that the telecommunication services is closest to reaching 100% renewable electricity — though as can be seen below, the numbers do tell a much larger story.
“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,” said Damian Ryan, Acting CEO of The Climate Group. “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.”
“From the US to China, the global energy landscape is transforming before our eyes,” added Paul Simpson, Chief Executive Officer, CDP. “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.”
On top of the findings from the report, RE100 also boasted three new members — Danske Bank Group, Gatwick Airport Limited, and Royal Philips, all committing to 100% renewable electricity across their global operations.
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