Huge surge in number of companies targeting 100% renewables by 2030
The Climate Group has received more than double the number of corporate signatories first expected to its RE100 scheme, with the average target date for 100% renewables now standing at 2028.
That is according to the organisation's latest progress and annual insights report, published today (2 December).
The report reveals that RE100 membership grew by one-third to surpass 200 businesses for the first time in 2019, with new additions over the past year having included JD Sports, Intu, The City of London Corporation, Gap, Virgin Media, 3M and Barclays.
It also confirms the addition of four more companies to the commitment: Fashion giant Ralph Lauren Corporation, Taiwanese health food manufacturer Grape King, US-based toy company Radio Flyer and Japanese construction firm Hazama Ando Corporation. Ralph Lauren is notably aiming to set approved science-based targets in 2020, while Radio Flyer has already gained approval for its 2C-aligned targets.
When analysing the RE100 cohort as a whole, The Climate Group found that the average target-date stands at 2028 and that one in three partaking companies are already using renewables to meet more than 75% of their annual energy consumption.
But the international non-profit also found that member companies are beginning to struggle with price rises in markets such as China and Russia.
Nonetheless, The Climate Group believes RE100 members are keen to seek opportunities rather than being deterred by challenges. Its analysis, conducted in partnership with CDP, found that half of RE100 members plan to use their influence to push stakeholders including policymakers, regulators and utilities for a faster transition to a clean energy system in 2020. These businesses include the likes of management services firm Iron Mountain, lighting giant Signify and electronics manufacturer Philips.
“At a time when UN research has said countries are underdelivering on climate action, leading businesses are stepping into the void left by national governments and accelerating the clean energy transition,” The Climate Group’s chief executive Helen Clarkson said.
“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.”
Clean power surge
As of November 2018, 155 companies across 140 global markets had joined the RE100 initiative, with the group collectively sourcing 188TWh of clean power annually. RE100 members leveraged a combined annual revenue of $4.5trn or 5% of global GDP, making the group a powerful source of financing for clean energy infrastructure.
The Climate Group’s new report provides an update to these figures, stating that RE100’s 216 members now leverage a combined annual revenue of $5.4trn and are on track to have collectively procured 228TWh of clean power by the end of 2019. In context, this is around the same amount of energy used across South Africa on an annual basis.
More broadly, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) is predicting a year-on-year rise in business renewable sourcing through power purchase agreements (PPAs) in 2019. In 2018, BNEF tracked 13.4GW of clean power procured in this way – almost double the amount tracked in 2017.