As 2017 begins, China is poised to leap ahead of the United States on clean energy to become the most important player in the global market.
WRI brings U.S. companies seeking more renewable energy together with traditional, coal-intensive electric utilities to jointly advance new, cost-effective renewable energy generation. Since 2015, businesses working with WRI have contracted more than 450 megawatts of new solar generation through regulated utilities in Nevada and North Carolina – equivalent to taking 120,000 cars off the road.
Corporate demand for renewable energy is a central driver of clean energy growth in the United States. In 35 states, electricity customers must buy power through their local utility, so companies cannot purchase local renewable energy unless their utility offers it. Companies are setting ambitious renewable energy targets and considering the ease of purchasing renewable energy when deciding where to locate new facilities.
WRI helps utilities meet corporate demand for new renewable energy without impacting other customers. WRI’s Charge team brings together regulated coal-intensive utilities – often in politically conservative states with limited clean energy requirements – with their largest customers to agree on optional rates for renewable energy, called green tariffs. WRI provides feedback to utilities on green tariff proposals to help make them attractive to regulators and corporate electricity buyers.
In partnership with other NGOs, WRI amplifies the collective voice of large buyers through the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), a coalition to empower multinational companies to transform electricity systems by cost-effectively scaling up renewable energy. WRI also created the Corporate Renewable Energy Strategy Map, which shows states where companies can more easily meet their clean energy goals. Utilities and states actively seek to be included on the map and frequently ask about creating green tariffs as a means to attract economic development.
Major utilities are creating voluntary programs to rapidly expand access to new renewable energy for their largest customers. Since 2015, green tariffs at monopoly, coal-intensive utilities have led to contracts for 450 megawatts of new solar energy capacity, which will help utilities annually avoid over half a million tons of carbon dioxide emissions – comparable to taking 120,000 passenger vehicles off the road. Contracts for an additional 500 megawatts of new solar energy are under negotiation, and more utilities are now replicating green tariffs.
By creating access to renewable energy for companies and aligning the interests of utilities with their customers, WRI and REBA partners are moving the conversation beyond politics, creating bipartisan support for measures that contribute to local economic development, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and cleaner air.
Transitioning to a clean energy economy in the United States would cost $320 billion a year from 2020 to 2050, finds a new report from the Risky Business Project, but we'd save $366 billion a year in reduced fossil fuel costs alone.
Mayors don't have the luxury of ignoring on-the-ground hazards of our changing planet – and fortunately, they're not.
If President-elect Trump is serious about his promise to create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs, then he should push America toward a strong, clean energy future.
Today three countries, the United States, Canada, and Mexico, announced targets and strategies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century (2050).
Germany aims to reduce its emissions 80-95 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. It's the first country to release a long-term emissions plan, with more countries likely to follow in the coming days.
The number of green tariffs, or renewable energy purchasing programs offered by utilities, has doubled in the United States since the end of 2015. Part of the reason is demand from corporations seeking more access to wind and solar.
Letha Tawney, director of utility innovation at WRI, discusses how Kentucky can seize a business opportunity by providing clean, cheap power.