White House gets behind growing push for corporate adoption of renewable energy, - Smart Energy Decisions

GHG Emissions, Commercial, Industrial, Sourcing Renewables  -  June 3, 2016

White House gets behind Apple, Facebook-led push for corporate renewable adoption

In a June 2 announcement, the White House highlighted the efforts of a number of U.S. corporations that have emerged as leaders in the push for accelerated adoption of renewable energy sources. 

The Presidential nod to companies including Apple Inc., Facebook Inc. and Microsoft Corp. along with various groups like RE100 and the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance, or REBA, came as leaders from global businesses and governments convened in San Francisco this week at the seventh meeting of the Clean Energy Ministerial, or CEM, to collaborate actions to help implement policies and solutions to meet their countries’ climate and clean energy goals. 

One of the announcements out of the event, according to the White House, is the creation of a new campaign, backed by CEM, to encourage corporate sourcing of renewables as a way to further advance deployment of clean energy across the range of CEM member countries. In the U.S. alone, the White House said, corporate purchases of renewable energy has supported more than 8 GW of projects, up from just 0.6 GW in 2009. 

The White House said the International Renewable Energy Agency, REBA, RE100, World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the World Resources Institute are joining the CEM initiative, called the Corporate Sourcing of Renewables Campaign. The announcement also highlighted previously made commitments by member corporations. 

Of particular note, the announcement said Facebook agreed to fund the REBA initiatives. Facebook has also pledged to collaborate to expand REBA internationally; work through REBA to raise awareness and help other companies navigate the complexities of PPAs; work closely with utilities to develop green tariffs; and source 50% of its energy from clean energy sources in 2018.

The White House also said Apple has committed to work with CEM countries and partners to spur the development and procurement of renewable energy within its global supply chain.

"Apple is working with its suppliers to install more than 4 GW of new clean energy worldwide, including 2 GW in China by 2020," the announcement said. "Apple's supply chain is the single biggest source of its comprehensive carbon footprint, so the company is committing to actively engage with ministers and partners in the U.S., China and other CEM countries to drive the transition to green manufacturing." 

The release also noted Microsoft's recent commitment to increase their direct use — meaning onsite generation in lieu of credits — of renewable energy to power its data centers in the years ahead. 

Other companies whose renewable energy purchasing commitments were highlighted include Autodesk, Google, Wells Fargo, Dentsu Aegis Network, Equinix, Interface Inc., Tetra Pak  and TD Bank Group, the first Canadian company to join RE100. 

The administration also announced new commitments to its previously announced Clean Energy Investment Initiative, including a increased support from Wells Fargo for building efficiency startups through the next round of its $10 million philanthropic Innovation Incubator program, administered by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory. 

The larger goal of the CEM meeting this week, according to the White House news release, is to accelerate clean energy deployment globally with the goal of doubling clean energy research and development investments over the next five years to $30 billion annually.  Energy leaders from 23 countries and the European Union, representing 90% of clean energy investment and 75% of global carbon emissions, are reportedly in attendance. 


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