Leading global companies have confirmed the strong business case for sourcing 100% renewable electricity in the newly published RE100 Annual Report 2017.
RE100 now has 87 members across a wide range of sectors – including globally recognised businesses like IKEA, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Tata Motors. The report demonstrates how RE100 companies are now creating demand for approximately 107 terawatt/hour (TWh) of renewable power annually, which is around the same amount of electricity as consumed by The Netherlands. 34 RE100 members have reported that they are generating renewable energy at their facilities – with wind and solar photovoltaics clearly the most popular technologies.
“RE100, led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, brings together “a growing group of major, influential companies from around the world who are setting targets to go 100% renewable energy in their electricity procurement” said Jim Walker, Co-Founder of The Climate Group in a video produced by CBS EcoMedia. “Why are companies doing this? The cost of energy is coming down, rapidly. When you are using on-site renewables, you are managing volatility and the price of your energy supply, you are generating your own electrons and you are buying it from yourself – you don’t have to buy it at a retail price, so it’s cheaper. Just makes good business sense. Also, it’s just the right thing to do – contributing to better air quality. Business is a very important advocate for clean energy, because it speaks the language of hard economics. It’s sending a strong signal to policymakers and the general public that this is the inevitable direction we’re going to move towards – a 100% clean energy economy.”
Nick Gunn, SVP, Global Corporate Services, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, added that the company did a deal with a Texas wind farm, enabling Hewlett Packard Enterprise to source 112 MW of power from wind energy. This is enough to power HPE’s entire IT infrastructure. Mr Gunn also commented that the more companies like HPE demand renewable energy, the more creation of renewable energy sources there will be.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise has the goal of raising the use of renewable energy from its current levels of 13 percent globally to 40 percent by 2020, with the ultimate target of achieving 100 percent. Its strategy focuses on reducing energy consumption and increasing energy efficiency, while both generating on-site clean energy and purchasing it through agreements with off-site.
“RE100 importance lies in two factors” said Rachel Kyte, CEO of Sustainable Energy for All, and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All. “One is that the purchasing of renewable energy in the long run positions companies to be at the leading edge of their own sector of industry. On the second hand, its importance lies in the message that sends to the financial sector.”
Amy Davidsen, North America Executive Director, The Climate Group, commented that The Climate Group is hoping that RE100 becomes the norm, so that by 2020 it will be what every business does.
IKEA Group is also heavily investing in renewable energy, having pledged $1.13 billion for renewables and climate action globally. Lars Petersson, President & CEO, IKEA USA, said that “right as we speak, 71 percent of all energy consumed at IKEA is actually produced by renewable sources – and by 2020, we will be 100 percent.” Although IKEA generates renewable energy in many ways, almost all its stores and warehouses have solar power installations on their roofs. The company also owns two wind farms - one in Hoopeston, Illinois, and one in Cameron County, Texas.