- The energy crisis of 2022 and policy responses to it demonstrated that renewable energy is needed now more than ever, but governments need to reduce barriers for corporate buyers.
- Asian markets remain the most challenging, but strong corporate engagement means almost two thirds of new RE100 membership comes from within the region.
- The average target year of the RE100 initiative for companies aspiring to 100% renewable energy has been pushed back, during a year marked by a mounting energy crisis and ongoing barriers to renewable energy procurement.
- Despite these challenges, RE100 member companies now report consuming 49% renewable electricity in 2021, up from 45% in 2020, and 41% in 2019.
RE100 members continue to deliver on renewable electricity procurement, despite the ongoing energy crisis and persistent barriers in many developing electricity markets. This is according to the latest annual disclosure report from RE100, a global initiative between CDP and Climate Group bringing together the world’s most influential businesses committed to using 100% renewable electricity by 2040.
From COP27 to Davos, the need for sustainable, affordable renewable energy continues to be identified as a key priority for achieving a just, 1.5-degree future. However, the report reveals that high costs, limited supply and a lack of procurement options presented ongoing barriers to RE100 members procuring renewable electricity.
The average target year set by RE100 members for achieving 100% renewable electricity use has been pushed back to 2031, one year later than last year’s report. The barriers in many countries are seen as the most likely factor for this move. Despite this, 14 members demonstrated leadership by bringing the year in which they want to have switched to 100% renewable electricity forward, by an average of 12 years.
“The age of cheap fossil fuels is over. Renewables have proven themselves the cheaper, more cost-effective option time and time again, even during an energy crisis. I’m pleased to see the continued work of our RE100 members and call on policymakers to urgently meet corporate demand for renewable electricity,” said Sam Kimmins, director of energy, Climate Group.
Despite the ongoing barriers to sourcing renewable electricity, the RE100 initiative was able to assess the progress for each member for the first time. RE100 members reported consuming nearly half of their electricity from renewable sources, 42% of which is aligned with the initiative's requirements. RE100 members account for roughly 1.5% of global electricity consumption, more than the electricity consumed by the United Kingdom.
RE100 has also seen a significant increase in transparency regarding commissioning date information on reported purchasing of renewable electricity amongst members. Members procured a minimum of 85 TWh of renewable electricity from projects commissioned or re-powered in the past 15 years, or half of all purchasing. The barriers experienced by members demonstrate an urgent need for increased renewable electricity capacity. These members therefore play an important role in incentivising capacity additions in their local markets.
Andrew Glumac, Senior Manager of Renewable Energy, CDP, said, “With increased transparency and progress towards their 100% renewable electricity targets, RE100 members play a crucial role in the energy transition both through their concrete actions to transform the grid mix via their procurement and their willingness to quantify demand and identify barriers where they cannot yet procure.”
Corporations currently account for around half of electricity consumption and 25% of global greenhouse gas emissions from power generation. It is therefore vital that the private sector goes further in demonstrating demand for renewable energy, while influencing utilities providers and policy makers to address market barriers that are blocking the uptake of renewable electricity. At the same time, policymakers must step up to respond to the corporate demand for renewable energy demonstrated by almost 400 RE100 members around the world.
In a year marked by a fuel crisis, extreme weather events and a soaring cost of living, renewable energy is needed more than ever. In order to achieve a sustainable and just future, corporations and policymakers alike must take action to secure a risk-resilient economy and a liveable world.