38 Australian companies sat down in Sydney last week to consider participation in the RE100, a group which commits to sourcing 100% of operational energy from renewable sources.
The group currently has 154 members, almost three quarters of whom have operations in Australia, and include many of the biggest companies in the world.
“The two primary reasons companies are signing up is it’s the right thing to do, dealing with carbon management, and also because it makes business sense,” explains Sam Kimmins, the global head of RE100 in an interview with the Australian Financial Review.
Kimmins stated “the reason we are seeing this transition and change in approach is because of the declines in the cost of renewables. Solar has come down 80% in the past seven years,” in an interview with RenewEconomy.
“So if you are a smart energy buyer – you will look at the cost of a power purchase agreement, and you will look to buy the cheapest. And that is turning out to be renewables. That’s what Mars did in Australia, because it is saving money.”
This sentiment is echoed in the latest Director Sentiment Index, conducted by the Australian Institute of Company Directors, who found that 50% of directors rated renewable energy as the top area of importance for infrastructure. Also for the first time in this survey, they voted climate change as the top issue they would like the government to address.
If this corporate momentum continues, Australia could easily be ahead of its national emissions target, and the prediction made by CEO of Todae Solar earlier this month at All Energy – 90% corporate energy uptake by 2030 – could well turn out to be correct.