Last week Google, Facebook, General Motors, as well as 450 other companies and organizations, officially launched the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA). The alliance includes buyers, developers, and providers of renewables with the aim of speeding up the transition to a zero-carbon world and “green the grid for all.”
Starting from just four founding members in 2014, the alliance has grown greatly. To date, its members have participated in 98% of all large-scale U.S. corporate renewable energy deals, building from the earlier Buyers Principles and Future of Internet Power initiatives. This May REBA will hold a summit to step up its efforts, explore new market opportunities for renewables and improve collaborations across the industry.
REBA’s major goal at this point is to contribute 60 GW of new renewables capacity to nonresidential consumers in the U.S. by 2025. The current “leadership circle” of the alliance comprises 16 companies representing over 1% of annual U.S. electricity consumption and providing 1 million jobs within the industry.
The activities of the alliance will comprise renewables market analytics, global networking, policy lobbying, improving supply chains and educational programs to help buyers make the best choices possible. Other focus areas include removing the barriers to transition, research, and energy system innovation. The ultimate aim is to create a zero-carbon energy system that is resilient, flexible and transparent for all the companies on the market.
Michael Terrell, head of energy market strategy at Google, believes the effort can make things much easier for companies considering renewables. “Every enterprise — whether it’s a bakery, a big-box retailer or a data center — should have an easy and direct path to buy clean energy. Ultimately, sourcing clean energy should be as simple as clicking a button,” he says.
Rob Threlkeld from General Motors waxes optimistic about increased future collaboration. “Today’s REBA launch demonstrates that large energy buyers from across every sector of the U.S. economy — large and small — are committed to doing their part to solve this problem. At General Motors, we are proud to be a founding member,” he says.