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More than 120 global companies have publicly committed to sourcing 100% renewable energy by joining the RE100 initiative led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP. This group of businesses now collectively represents significant capital and a demand for electricity which rivals Poland, Malaysia or New York State at 159 terawatt hours (TWh) per year.
Project developers, suppliers and other key market players are listening to this group, which is already helping to shape renewable energy systems around the world. While the target date for reaching 100% renewable electricity purchasing varies among the RE100 members, 25 companies had already reached their goal by the end of 2016, including Autodesk, Elopak, Interface, Microsoft, Marks and Spencer and Sky.
“As we expand our global cloud infrastructure, we will increasingly turn to renewable energy because it is a clean power source and gives us better financial predictability. It’s good for the environment, our customers, and our business,” says Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer, Microsoft, in the report.
Mark LaCroix, Executive Vice President, Americas, at Natural Capital Partners commented: “Companies setting and achieving bold renewable sourcing targets can feel encouraged, reassured and confident that their actions are collectively contributing to what is already a fast-growing and sophisticated renewable energy market in many countries, backed by robust, credible standards.”
“This report confirms what we are seeing among our clients, many of whom are RE100 members: when companies bring their electricity demand to emerging markets, they help shape the tracking systems essential to increasing the proportion of renewables in the grid, thereby opening up opportunities for their business in the future.”
The economic case is reported as an important driver of 100% renewable electricity commitments, with 88% of responding RE100 members describing this as a key factor. It is clear that improved cost-effectiveness of solar, wind and hydropower is further transforming the market in favour of corporate buyers.
“While it’s encouraging that the RE100 membership had increased by nearly 50% in the past year, it’s important to remember the thousands of non-member companies which have set a stretching target to power their operations with zero emission electricity,” commented Natural Capital Partners’ Chief Product Officer, Oliver Crouch. “We look forward to supporting companies of all sizes to achieve their environmental goals in 2018 and are pleased to offer a suite of solutions, which now include green gas and Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), as well as energy attribute certificates from all established and emerging markets.”