RE 100 signatories could spur 35 GW of solar opportunities

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) has released a new report, “RE100 Signatories to Spur US$94bn Investment Opportunity”, under which it has found that the signatories of the RE 100 campaign will need to add an additional 172 TWh of clean energy by 2030, if they are to meet their 100% renewable energy targets.

While certificates or other similar mechanisms, like green tariffs, have been most popularly employed by companies wishing to meet their renewable targets – 73% of their clean energy supply in 2016, says BNEF – an additional 35 GW of solar and 51 GW of wind, representing a US$94 billion investment opportunity, could be developed, if power purchase agreements (PPAs) were focused on.

“However, more likely is that the companies will enlist a variety of different mechanisms to meet this 172TWh shortfall, including PPAs, certificates, onsite generation and utility contracts,” writes BNEF.

The Americas are expected to meet over half of the demand, it continues.

Currently, 128 companies from 20 countries are signed onto the RE100 campaign, including such giants as Ikea, Google and Facebook.

The report finds that the current group of signatories cumulatively consumed 163 TWh of electricity in 2016 – greater than the electricity consumption of countries like Sweden or Poland. It further forecasts that by 2030, this will grow to 223 TWh, which will leave a renewable electricity shortfall of 172 TWh.

RE 100

The RE 100 campaign, launched in 2014, is a global initiative, spurring the private sector – said to account for around half of the world’s electricity consumption – to cover its energy needs with renewables.

Overall, it says that 28 members already run entirely on renewables. The latest company to announce its 100% renewable goals will soon be achieved is U.S. financial services company, Fifth Third Bancorp, which yesterday signed a PPA to cover 100% of its power through solar.

“The project, led by SunEnergy1, will be constructed in Hertford County, North Carolina – a state Fifth Third Bank operates within. Expected to come online in late 2018, the 80 megawatt (MW) solar plant will generate around 194,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity per year,” says Fifth Third Bank.