RE100 reveals upturn in renewable electricity usage by members

RE100 group have revealed that there has been a 41 per cent rise in renewable electricity used by its 155 members this year, with the operations of 37 of its members now 95 per cent powered by renewables.

Another milestone revealed by the report is that if RE100 were considered a country, it would have the 23rd largest electricity consumption in the world (188 TWh per year), with total demand greater than the countries of Argentina and Portugal combined.

The members have a combined revenue of US$4.5 trillion – 5% of global GDP – which, the group claims, makes it a major source of finance for clean energy infrastructure.

Helen Clarkson, CEO of the Climate Group, comments: “With so much depressing news at the moment, here we have a refreshing, positive story of how ambitious corporate action is changing the world for the better.

“We congratulate RE100 members on the progress they are making by building renewables into their growth strategies, and engaging policymakers and suppliers. This is what all leading multinationals should be doing,” she said.

Other findings of note include the fact that more than three quarters of the organization’s members have 100% RE targets by 2030; while Japan, Australia, Mexico, Turkey and Taiwan were identified as rising players in RE100 efforts. Indeed, over 30% of new members in the study period comprised Japanese firms.

Meanwhile, corporate PPAs among RE100 members were found to have more than doubled in 2017. The leading role played by IT firms in transitioning to more sustainable energy management – 73% of their electricity came from renewables in 2017 – was also underscored.

Overall, members state the clear economic case as the “key driver” for transitioning to 100% renewables, although they say that policy is the biggest barrier to this uptake.

The RE100, steered by ‘The Climate Group’ and the Carbon Disclosure Project, seeks to incorporate sustainable practices and corporate social responsibility into multinational corporations. Addressing climate action from a multi-level governance framework, and with private sector usage accounting for two thirds of the world’s electricity demand, partnerships such as these are becoming increasingly relevant.

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