Asia-Pacific Markets are Most Challenging for Corporates to Shift to 100% Clean Energy

In 2020, 60 companies joined the RE100 initiative, of which 42% were from Asia-Pacific


Asia-Pacific markets are among the most challenging in the world for global companies to switch to 100% renewable energy, RE100 said in a new report.

RE100 is an initiative led by the Climate Group in partnership with CDP in bringing together the world’s most influential companies committed to 100% renewable electricity.

Markets of Argentina, Australia, China, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, and Russia are among the most challenging markets for switching to 100% renewables.

Among the most challenging markets, Australia and Japan have higher renewable costs compared to other markets. While renewables are not available for corporate sourcing in South Korea and Argentina. Singapore has limited availability of renewables, while Russia has limited options to purchase renewables. In China, companies face issues like regulatory complexity and limited availability of renewables for corporate sourcing in some regions.

According to the report, RE100 members’ facilities and operations run on 81% renewable power in Europe, 59% in North America, and 16% in the Asia-Pacific region. However, business demand for clean energy is growing at a rapid pace in the Asia-Pacific region. In 2020, 60 companies joined the RE100 initiative, of which 42% were from Asia-Pacific.

The report, which includes data provided by 261 members in 2020, said 75% of RE100 members aim to run its operations on 100% renewable electricity by 2030. Of which, 31% of members target to reach 100% renewable electricity by 2020. And 162 members also set science-based targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Currently, RE100 members procure 113 TWh of renewable power annually, a 29.88% rise compared to 87 TWh per year in 2018. Renewable power procurement has almost doubled since 2015.

Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100, said, “Corporate demand for renewables is driving down costs and driving up investment across the world. However, some markets do not benefit from this demand-driven energy revolution due to outdated regulations and high costs. Tackling these issues should be an easy win for governments seeking a green economic recovery from the COVID-19.”

According to the report, unbundled energy attribute certificates (EACs) remain the primary source of procuring renewable energy as one-third of RE100 members procure over 75% of their renewable energy through EACs such as renewable energy certificates and guarantees of origin.

The report also suggested that power purchase agreements (PPAs) accounted for nearly 26% of overall renewable power procurement by members in 2020, up from 19% in 2019.

In India, members procured 470.88 GWh of renewable energy through EACs and 202.62 GWh through PPAs in 2020.

According to BloombergNEF, there have been 75 offsite corporate PPAs for 4.47 GW of renewable energy capacity in the Asia-Pacific region. In contrast, the number of corporate PPAs stood at 233 for around 14 GW capacity in Europe and 959 for 43.17 GW capacity in the U.S. due to more favorable market conditions.

The Asia-Pacific region could expect to see cheaper levelized costs for electricity for renewables compared to coal by 2030. According to a report by Wood Mackenzie, investments in the region are also expected to cost 23% lesser than coal investments by the end of the decade.

After experiencing its most significant decline in decades, global electricity demand is expected to rebound modestly next year, led by China, India, and other emerging economies, according to a new International Energy Agency report.

Harsh Shukla is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Previously with Indian Express, he has covered general interest stories. He holds a Masters Degree in Journalism from Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, Pune.

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