Apple, BoA Joins Clean Energy Initiative, WEC says Exceptional Growth in Wind and Solar Power

Apple joined RE100, a worldwide renewable energy initiative made up of some of the planet’s biggest companies as the company strengthened its commitment to using completely renewable energy as a business.

It would collaborate with RE100 to “drive clean energy into the manufacturing supply chain”, the company said in a news release.

The announcement on Monday during a speech at Climate Week NYC was made by Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president for environment, policy and social initiatives.

“Apple is committed to running on 100 percent renewable energy, and we’re happy to stand beside other companies that are working toward the same effort. We’re excited to share the industry-leading work we’ve been doing to drive renewable energy into the manufacturing supply chain, and look forward to partnering with RE100 to advocate for clean-energy policies around the world,” she said.

Work on a 50-megawatt solar farm in Arizona, which is set to supply renewable energy to Apple’s “global command data center” in Mesa, has finished construction, Jackson also announced. Utility Salt River Project worked with Apple on the project.

Renewables and sustainability have been made a cornerstone of its business by Apple. While in 2015 93 percent of Apple’s global operations were powered with renewable, the operations of the company in the U.S., China and 21 other countries are powered by 100 percent renewable energy.

Bank of America and Amalgamated Bank also joined RE100 on Monday.

It had made a commitment to both carbon neutrality and purchasing 100 percent renewable electricity by 2020, Bank of America said in a news release.

“Addressing global issues like climate change and the transition to a sustainable and low-carbon future takes collaboration, innovation and investment,” Anne Finucane, vice-chairman, Bank of America, said in a statement.

“The expansion of our operational goals to 2020, achieving carbon neutrality, and the purchase of 100 percent renewable electricity build on our existing environmental commitment and responsible growth strategy. This demonstrates the measurable actions we are taking to reduce our environmental impacts,” she added.

Meanwhile a new report from the World Energy Council (WEC) states that around 30 percent of the world’s total capacity and 23 percent of total global electricity production is accounted for by renewable sources of power including hydroelectric and solar.

Wind and solar power had seen “explosive average annual growth” of 23 percent and 50 percent respectively in the last 10 years, WEC said.

With China’s spending on renewable sources representing 36 percent of global investments, $286 billion was invested in 154 gigawatts of “new renewables capacity” in 2015, the report also said.

“The success of both the development of intermittent renewables and their efficient integration in electricity systems fundamentally depends on the right market design and regulatory framework and solid regional planning to avoid bottlenecks,” Christoph Frei, secretary general of the WEC, said in a statement.

Last year’s historic COP21 agreement in Paris serves as a back drop for the report. At the meet, the leaders agreed to pursue efforts to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius and to make sure global warming stayed below 2 degrees Celsius.

“We are beyond the tipping point of grand energy transition. Implementing technically and economically sound, stable policies supported by clear carbon price signals will enable this transition and take us a step closer to meeting the climate aspirations agreed at COP21,” Frei added.

(Adapted from CNBC)

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