Today, David Gardiner and Associates is renaming our Customer Revolution Project to the Corporate Climate Initiative. The new name reflects the massive shifts in U.S. renewable energy markets and the work underway to accelerate these markets to the levels required to lower our greenhouse gas emissions.
Corporate sustainability commitments around renewable energy use are no longer a revolutionary concept. Direct sourcing of renewables has grown from highly-customized, focused projects from unique corporate leaders to an accepted financial, risk, and climate-management strategy utilized by almost half of the Fortune 500. The changes in the markets over the last five years are incredibly important.
Looking back at 2013:
- 24 companies had set specific goals for renewable energy use;
- Four companies executed five power purchase agreements (PPA’s);
- NV Energy enacted the first “green tariff;” and,
- The levelized cost of utility-scale wind and solar were around $70 and $100 MWh, respectively.
As of November 2018:
- 155 companies have committed to sourcing 100% renewable electricity for their global operations thought RE100;
- Of those companies, almost half have achieved above 50%, nearly a quarter have sourced above 95%, and more than 20 are sourcing all of their electricity from renewable sources;
- 34 companies have procured a record 5 GW (4.96) of renewables via 59 individual PPAs this year, bringing the total corporate PPA volume to nearly 14.25 GW—equal to more than 28 conventional power plants—since 2013;
- 23 green tariffs in 17 states have been proposed or approved, with seven being proposed or approved across seven states this year alone; and,
- The levelized cost of utility-scale wind and solar are both around $42 MWh.
The fundamental economics of utility-scale wind and solar are now on par or cheaper than natural gas and will only continue to improve going forward. However, as outlined in the report from key retail and technology associations ranking all states on the access they provide to renewable energy, barriers still exist that prohibit many companies from achieving their objectives. And DGA is actively working with both companies and advocates to remove state-level barriers.
In Missouri, for example, after urging from Cargill, General Mills, GM, H&M, Procter & Gamble, Unilever and Walmart, Ameren has created a green tariff and both Empire District Electric and Kansas City Power & Light are developing them. This is why our new name highlights the action needed to both remove those barriers and expand access to compelling renewable energy products to more American businesses and consumers. We greatly appreciate your support and hope you continue to find our work to be a valuable resource in your efforts.