A dramatic upsurge in demand for renewable energy from ambitious multinational companies was now shifting markets away from fossil fuels in more than 140 markets worldwide, a RE100 report said on Thursday.
RE100 is the corporate leadership initiative led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, bringing together the world’s most influential businesses committed to 100 per cent renewable power.
Identifying Japan, Australia, Mexico, Turkey and Taiwan as growth hotspots, the RE100 Progress and Insights Annual report “Moving To Truly Global Impact” showed a 41 per cent increase in renewable electricity sourced by RE100 companies in 2017, compared to 2016.
India sees more renewable electricity being sourced. In 2017, 32 per cent of all electricity sourced by RE100 Indian members was from renewable energy sources compared to 21 per cent in 2016.
With the falling cost of renewables strengthening the business case for switching, 37 companies were already over 95 per cent renewable, and six members reached their 100 per cent goal for the first time.
RE100 now has 155 members with a total electricity demand greater than Argentina and Portugal combined — 188 TWh per year.
If RE100 were a country, it would be the 23rd largest electricity in the world. With a combined revenue of $4.5 trillion — 5 per cent of global GDP — the companies represent a major source of finance for clean energy infrastructure.
“With so much depressing news at the moment, here we have refreshing, positive story of how ambitious corporate action is changing the world for the better,” The Climate Group CEO Helen Clarkson said.
“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.”
The report said most members were based in Europe (77), followed by North America (53), Asia (24), and Oceania (on) — with 10 of the 37 new joiners in 2018 based in Japan.
On average, members are sourcing over a third of their electricity from renewables (38 per cent in 2017).
IT companies lead on progress, averaging 73 per cent renewable electricity in 2017, and there has been significant improvement from healthcare and financial sectors.
Alberto Carrillo Pineda, Director of Science Based Targets and Renewable Energy, CDP, said: “The global expansion of the RE100 initiative is a hugely encouraging indicator of the strengthening business case for renewable energy.
“As clean energy costs continue to plummet globally, and business leaders are becoming ever more aware of the risks of a high-carbon business model, it’s clear that renewable power is the future for global business.”