Firms blast numerous barriers slowing renewable drive

Availability, procurement and regulation are preventing a switch to 100% green energy, say RE100 members

Companies efforts to reach net zero carbon emissions are being slowed by limited or no availability of renewables, a lack of procurement opportunities and regulatory barriers, according to a CDP and Climate Group report.

After speaking to members of the RE100 initiative, businesses all seeking to adopt 100% renewable energy, the report authors found procurement obstacles are a particular issue in Asia Pacific and an issue for 37 members in 111 markets globally.

Top 10 challenging markets

Source: CDP

Limited or no availability of renewable electricity was reported by 40 members in 66 markets in 2021.

Prohibitive cost was cited by 27 RE100 members in 41 markets. In 2020, RE100 members operating in Australia, Russia and Saudi Arabia – countries traditionally dependent on fossil fuels – noted barriers like cost and lack of procurement options.

RE100 saw its biggest growth in membership in Asia Pacific where it now has 36 new members, or 62% of new membership. There are now 102 RE100 members in Asia Pacific, up from 10 in 2016. CDP said this represents a “huge growth in demand” in the region. The initiative has now has 350 members and captured the views of 315 members for the 2021 report.

The group found 57 member firms state they now source 100% of their electricity renewably. This section of members represented 30 TWh of electricity consumption, or just under 10% of RE100’s total electricity consumption.

In total, the 349 RE100 members consume more electricity combined than the entire UK annually, but are sourcing nearly 45% of their electricity needs through renewable electricity up from 41% in 2020.

Andrew Glumac, senior manager, renewable energy at CDP, said: “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.”

Sam Kimmins, head of RE100 at Climate Group commented: “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.”