RE100 companies need better renewable electricity options from national governments, shows latest report

  • Obstacles include lack of procurement, limited or no availability of renewables, and regulatory barriers.
  • RE100 members, now 349 companies, consume more electricity combined than the entire UK annually and are sourcing nearly 45% of their electricity needs through renewable electricity up from 41% in 2020.
  • 61 members now report sourcing 100% of their electricity renewably (representing 46 TWh of electricity consumption), and 29 members have had their 100% claims verified by RE100
  • Procurement obstacles are most prevalent in Asia, which accounts for almost two thirds of new RE100 membership.

Governments need to significantly improve renewable electricity procurement options and reduce regulatory hurdles that are stopping businesses from transitioning to net-zero. This is according to the latest findings from RE100’s annual disclosure report 2021.

Limited, or no availability of renewable electricity (reported by 40 members in 66 markets), lack of procurement opportunities (reported by 37 members in 111 markets), and prohibitive cost (reported by 27 members in 41 markets) were the top three challenges members faced procuring renewable electricity. For the world to progress to net-zero and minimize the effects of climate change, it is essential that businesses and governments work in tandem with one another to ensure that barriers cited in this report are reduced.

Again, Asia most frequently presents barriers to sourcing experienced by members. 27 members cited barriers in the Republic of Korea, with 24 citing them in Japan and 22 citing them in China. In the 2020 report, high cost of renewables, poor corporate procurement options and limited availability of renewables were all prevalent barriers. Unsurprisingly, members operating in traditionally fossil fuel-reliant countries such as Australia, Russia and Saudi Arabia cited barriers like lack of procurement options and cost.

Despite these challenges, the latest report finds that RE100’s membership has seen its biggest yearly growth in Asia-Pacific, where 36 new members are headquartered – equalling 62% of its new membership. RE100 now has 102 members in Asia-Pacific, up from less than 10 in 2016, demonstrating the growing appetite from businesses in the region to adopt 100% renewable electricity.

RE100’s membership now consumes more electricity than the UK, the 12th highest emitting country, and the 349-strong initiative continues to grow. With businesses accounting for half of global greenhouse gas emissions from power generation, it is vital challenges in reaching 100% renewable electricity are overcome, so willing companies can progress to net-zero.

RE100 members are continuing to increase their use of impactful procurement methods such as Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). Members reported sourcing 42 TWh of renewable electricity using Power Purchase Agreements, or 28% of their total sourcing of renewable electricity. This is an increase from 26% in 2020.

In 2021, RE100 asked its members for the first time to disclose the commissioning dates of the facilities they purchased renewable electricity from, giving the initiative further insight into impactful procurement. Where data is available, there are strong trends that members procuring using PPAs are procuring from facilities less than two years old. RE100 members procuring using PPAs are likely directly responsible for capacity additions of renewable electricity in the markets in which they operate.

RE100 is a joint initiative between CDP and Climate Group bringing together hundreds of large businesses with the ambition of reaching 100% renewable electricity.

Andrew Glumac, Senior Manager, Renewable Energy at CDP

The goal of RE100 is to accelerate the transition to renewable electricity and it is fantastic to see a continued increase in members who share this vision. We urge more companies to commit to 100% renewable electricity and to source in impactful ways that shift the grid mix. Our growing membership, especially our increased presence in Asia, creates a stronger voice for RE100 to influence policy and ease the path for organizations transitioning to renewable electricity. We look forward to another year of growing membership and encourage businesses to join RE100.

Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100, Climate Group

The findings from the report demonstrate a clear signal to governments that corporates are investing at scale in renewable electricity, not just in Europe and North America but in the Asia-Pacific region as well. While there is more that needs to be done, and faster, the year-on-year improvements shown by our members’ data are encouraging confirmation that corporate demand for renewables is gaining pace.

Source: CDP