The good news about renewable energy is just not good enough. Companies must take the lead in decarbonisation, says Natural Capital Partners’ Jonathan Shopley.

Accessing Renewable Energy to Decarbonise Your Business – How Can it Be Done?

The cost of renewable energy technologies – specifically solar and wind – are falling so fast that in some national markets renewable energy supply has reached price parity with unsubsidised fossil fuel energy. While that sounds like excellent news for the rapid decarbonisation of global energy, International Energy Agency (IEA) data shows just how small a share of the total primary energy supply (TPES) is currently associated with non-fossil fuels (~19%) and renewables (<1.5%). We are a long way from a pathway to energy sector decarbonisation.

Two drivers can change the pace and profile of primary energy supply from high to low carbon sources. The first is innovation in the production, storage and distribution of renewable energy.  Tesla’s progress over the past decade in developing, and then combining electric cars, energy storage and rooftop solar in the US, is a case study of the kind of disruptive innovation in technology and business models that could dramatically speed things up.

The second driver is demand for renewable energy. In this, the private sector is leading the way and this strengthening demand signal is likely to spur the rate of change. Companies of all sizes, business models and geographic locations have at their disposal cost-effective opportunities to target 100% renewable electricity and zero carbon emissions: combining the power of innovation in renewables, with approaches to meet greenhouse gas reduction goals, while future-proofing the business through a price on carbon.

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