Last week at the seventh Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) meeting a series of new partnerships and initiatives between business leaders and companies were made which will lead to $30 billion in research and development funding for clean energy annually. The agreements will also help increase the purchases of renewable energy, like solar power, from companies across the world.
The CEM meeting was held in San Francisco and attended by 23 countries as well as the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). “These countries are meeting with the dual goal of accelerating the deployment of today’s clean energy technologies through the CEM and investing in innovation for the technologies of the future through Mission Innovation,” said the White House of the meetings.
“The private sector accounts for roughly 50 percent of the world’s electricity consumption and so must play a key role in the ongoing global energy transition,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin. “Switching this demand to renewables will decrease emissions, generate jobs, and deliver a host of other environmental, social, and economic benefits. IRENA looks forward to collaborating with initiative partners to reach this aim.”
During the meeting IRENA announced that it is creating the Corporate Sourcing of Renewables Campaign by partnering with the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), RE100, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the World Resources Institute (WRI) as initiative partners. Partners, according to IRENA, will develop and deploy policies and resources to help businesses source more renewable energy.
It could have a big impact. “RE100, a global business initiative led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, as an action of the We Mean Business coalition, has estimated that if 1,000 of the world’s most influential businesses become 100 percent powered by renewables, they could decarbonize almost a tenth of all electricity used worldwide and cut more than 1,000 Million tons of CO2 every year,” the White House said. “Already, corporate purchase of power in the United States has supported more than 8 GW of projects, up from just 0.6 GW in 2009, and globally more and more companies are seeking out clean energy.”
Among announcements made through the program, Apple said it will install 4 gigawatts of new clean energy worldwide, including 2 gigawatts in China by 2020. “The company is committing to actively engage with ministers and partners in the US, China and other CEM countries to drive the transition to green manufacturing,” IRENA said.
Google will collaborate with governments, renewable energy buyers and suppliers, NGOs, and others to enable corporate purchasing of renewable energy and make policy recommendations and Microsoft agreed to source half the power for its datacenters with wind, hydro and solar power by 2018 growing to 60 percent early next decade. “This is a significant given that the IT sector including Microsoft are some of the fastest growing energy users in the world, consuming as much energy as a small state and in decades to come as much as mid-size nations,” IRENA said. It added that Microsoft is will maintain 100 per cent carbon neutrality on top of this new commitment.
Learn more about the commitments at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/06/02/fact-sheet-us-hosts-worlds-energy-ministers-scale-clean-energy-and-driveTweet