Australia’s retailers are leading the clean energy race, with almost double the renewable energy commitments of any other industry, new data from Greenpeace Australia Pacific has highlighted.
The REenergise 2020 Corporate Renewable Snapshot, the first-ever Australian report calculating the cumulative impact of corporate 100 per cent renewable energy commitments, found that renewable electricity targets of 28 of Australia’s largest companies will drive 2.8 gigawatts (GW) of new renewable projects over the next few years.
Corporate renewable commitments were equal to powering 1.3 million homes, or more than the power currently produced by NSW’s Liddell coal-fired power station.
Retailers were the clear frontrunners with 1146 megawatts (MW) of clean energy commitments, with the next best performing industry, telecommunications, trailing at 713 MW.
Many of the companies made their commitments through the RE100 initiative – a global corporate renewable energy initiative bringing together hundreds of large and ambitious businesses committed to 100 per cent renewable electricity.
REenergise Campaign Director, Lindsay Soutar, said it should come as no surprise that retailers are out in front in the race to renewable energy.
“Australian companies made a huge leap forward on the switch to 100 per cent renewable electricity in 2020, with clean energy commitments by major Australian businesses now set to create solar and wind power equivalent to powering all the homes in Brisbane and Perth combined!” she said.
“Major chains such as Woolworths, Bunnings and ALDI committing to 100 per cent renewable energy saw retail eclipse other industries. Retailers signing deals with wind and solar farms in regional Australia, and using their abundant roof space to host solar panels, has seen them get out in front of Australia’s rapid transition to clean energy.”
“Retail giants making the clean energy switch shows that 100 per cent renewable energy is a no-brainer for businesses – it’s cleaner, cheaper and a crucial part of their responsibility to tackle climate change,” Soutar commented.
“Greenpeace Australia Pacific is now calling on big retail brands like Coles and Kmart to ramp up their climate commitments and switch to 100 per cent renewable electricity.”
Some key findings from the report include:
- 28 of Australia’s biggest electricity-using companies have now made renewable energy commitments that, together, will drive 2.8GW of new renewable energy projects.
- This is equivalent to powering 1.3 million households – almost all the homes in Brisbane and Perth combined.
- 5038 clean energy jobs will be created as a result of these companies making the switch.
- The retail sector is the clear leader in the industry renewables race. Renewable commitments from retailers ALDI, Woolworths, Bunnings and Officeworks alone will drive new demand of nearly 2GW (1893MW) of wind and solar – equivalent to the electricity consumption of 757,000 homes, creating 3,407 jobs.
- 71 per cent of Australians think that Australian companies should set a goal to get to 100 per cent renewables as part of their responsibility for tackling climate change.
A 2019 report from Greenpeace Australia Pacific, REenergising Australian Business: the corporate race to 100 per cent renewable energy found that retailers have significant potential to deploy renewable energy at scale,
Renewable industry rankings for 2020:
|Sector||MW of wind/solar||Number of homes this could power||Jobs to be created|
|Food and beverage||231MW||107, 640||417|
|Banking and finance||161MW||74,857||290|
|Property and construction||88MW||40,871||158|