The world’s most influential companies are actively engaging with policy makers and utilities to accelerate the transition to renewable energy, a new RE100 report finds but governments must now remove the remaining barriers.
Going 100% renewable: how companies are demanding a faster market response is the 2019 RE100 Progress and Insights Annual Report from international non-profit The Climate Group in partnership with CDP. It tracks the progress of more than 200 member companies toward 100% renewable electricity.
The report reveals that although members are increasingly opting for cost-effective sourcing methods that directly bring additional renewable energy capacity online, unfavorable policy and market structures are inflating prices and making it harder to switch in places such as India, China, and Russia.
According to IRENA, India produces some of the cheapest solar electricity in the world. But RE100 members are struggling with a fragmented policy landscape, where key regulations differing from state to state, and uncertainty over various charges and taxes in the long-term. Through their membership of RE100, companies are aiming for closer cooperation with regulatory authorities and other key stakeholders in each state.
The good news is that half of members (49%) are planning to accelerate transition to renewables through constructive dialogue with stakeholders (such as governments and energy companies) by the end of next year, to help create markets for renewables. Such efforts are already bringing about policy changes in the Republic of Korea and the Taiwanese market, where to date access has been difficult.
This week policy makers are gathering at the UN Climate Change conference (COP25) in Madrid, Spain, to discuss how to bring ambition in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. Analysis released last week by the UN Environment Programme showed on current unconditional pledges, the world is heading for a dangerous temperature rise of 3.2˚C.
Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group, said: “At a time when UN research has said countries are under delivering on climate action, leading businesses are stepping into the void left by national governments and accelerating the clean energy transition.
“With ten years left to halve greenhouse gas emissions, it is vital that governments respond faster to rising demand for renewable energy. Without decisive action, countries and the energy sector risk losing out on billions of US dollars in investment from RE100 companies.”
Paul Simpson, CEO, CDP, said: “Corporate demand for renewable power is rapidly growing as the world moves to address the climate emergency. Encouragingly, we see renewable energy increasingly becoming a matter of business competitiveness in numerous markets around the world.
“Many companies are now making the shift because it makes business sense – in part due to changing expectations from their key stakeholders – be that investors, customers or employees. Now is the time to meet the demand and speed up the clean energy transition”.
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