Several of the world’s top companies are doing their part to ensure that more clean energy is available to more people around the world. The new venture, announced on Thursday, is called the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) and is a direct response to consumer calls for increased renewable energy use across the globe. With the prices of solar and wind power on steady decline, it just makes more sense that we should all continue to pursue them as a definite replacement to fossil fuels.
The new trade association, then, heads up a movement to look for more ways to go green. Consisting of major global influencers like Walmart, Facebook, Disney, and Johnson & Johnson, the group hopes to make these goals easier to achieve. And their first goal is a zero-carbon future. This would require that every single organization on the planet has the ability to offset as much of the energy they use as they desire through the use of renewable sources.
REBA has more than 200 members and is easily the largest group of clean energy buyers/investors in the United States. And part of that goal is help other businesses—particularly smaller ones who may not be able to invest so quickly and dramatically in cleaner alternatives—improve their positioning to purchase and use renewable energy.
REBA CEO Miranda Ballentine comments that the organization will certainly help incentivize and motivate energy markets and public policies towards this end. She says, “At a very fundamental level our theory of change is that we can leverage the markets and buyers have a unique role in the markets to drive the renewable energy future.”
Unfortunately, even in the face of such public outcry, it is harder than you probably think to get any company to choose these renewable energy sources, Ballentine says.
She adds, “Especially in today’s day and age, when we see many renewable energy technologies that are meeting or beating brown [conventional] power prices, you would think, ‘Hallelujah! The day has come, clean energy is here, we can now just go out and buy it.’ But there are a number of barriers.”
These barriers include the way energy markets are set up. They are different depending on the region, with some allowing more options than others. More importantly, though, many locations have little-to-no options for such energy sources.
Still, Ballentine appears confident that it is time for a paradigm shift. She notes, “The demand side of the equation really has a unique role to play and really has a unique voice and ability to drive the clean-energy market.”