Companies Commit to Buy Renewable Energy Through 2017
The national 5 Year Renewable Energy Pledge Program recognizes leading companies that have committed to purchase renewable energy for five or more years
November 8, 2011
WASHINGTON, November 8, 2011 – The City of Austin, Texas, Southern Oregon University, the Bank of Georgetown (DC and MD), Stevens Pass, Diamond Packaging, and Sandy Alexander are the first to sign the Renewable Energy Markets Association (REMA) “5 Year Renewable Energy Pledge.” The national program, which was announced today, recognizes organizations that make a long-term commitment to voluntarilypurchase renewable energy for at least the next five years. Today’s official REMA-led program launch is supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership, Center for Resource Solutions, and the founding companies, organizations, and municipalities.
“Voluntary purchases of renewable energy contribute significantly to our nation’s renewable energy infrastructure and deployment of new renewable generation,” said Jay Carlis, REMA President. “In 2009 alone, U.S. consumers voluntarily purchased over 30 million megawatt hours (MWh) of renewable energy above and beyond government mandates, but more can be done. With federal renewable energy policy fading away, long-term demand for green power from voluntary customers can step in to catalyze renewable energy development in the absence of federal policy drivers. That’s what the Pledge seeks to stimulate.”
The Pledge participants have committed to voluntarily purchase renewable energy for at least the next five years, with the goal of tripling U.S. voluntary purchases of renewable energy by 2015. According to the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), long term commitments, such as those recognized by the Pledge, help alleviate risk and provide certainty associated with renewable energy project development.
The City of Austin hopes to set a standard for other municipalities. “The City of Austin is the largest municipal government in the country to switch to 100% renewable energy,” said Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell. “We are proud to help lead the effort to make our communities cleaner and healthier and urge all government entities and businesses to sign the pledge to power their facilities with renewable energy.”
“The Pledge signatories are demonstrating a new level of leadership in the voluntary renewable energy market,” said Carlis. “Some are new to renewable energy purchasing while others have been purchasing for five years already. The statement that these organizations are making today sends a strong demand signal to renewable energy developers and investors that voluntary customers are committed to renewable energy for the long-term.”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership has also expressed its support of the Pledge. “EPA’s Green Power Partnership applauds REMA for launching the Pledge and encouraging long-term purchases of green power,” said Blaine Collison, Director of the Green Power Partnership. “By voluntarily purchasing significant amounts of green power for the next five years, the Pledge signatories are helping to protect the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and we hope to see this list of organizations continue to grow.”
The Pledge program requires that organizations must, at a minimum, voluntarily purchase green power for a 5+ year commitment according to EPA Green Power Partnership Leader Club levels. Also, purchase of renewable energy must be made in adherence with the Green-e® National Energy Standard or equivalent guidelines. "Companies of all sizes that take responsibility for reducing the environmental effect of their electricity use by taking a long-term renewable energy pledge like this one are true environmental stewards," said Jennifer Martin, Executive Director of Center for Resource Solutions. "They are investing in our shared clean energy future."
Green power procurements, such as Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) are eligible, and all renewable energy purchased must be above and beyond any state or federal mandates, include state RPS. The Pledge enhances and augments state and federal policy by creating a way for institutions to voluntarily push the demand for renewable energy above mandated levels over an extended time horizon.
It is also important to note the long-standing commitments of many organizations to the purchase of renewable energy that have helped build capacity to 30 million MWh over the past ten years. A number of organizations began their commitments ten years and ago and many more have been purchasing renewable energy for the last five years. REMA will be documenting all long-term participants in the market as well as those who have signed the 5-year renewable pledge on its website at: www.renewablemarketers.org/thepledge.
For more information on the Pledge, how to join, and other questions, please visit www.renewablemarketers.org/thepledge or attend the 5 Year Renewable Energy Pledge Webinar, December 7 at 12PM ET. Register for the webinar here: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/686348658
About the Renewable Energy Markets Association (REMA): The Renewable Energy Markets Association (REMA) is a nonprofit trade association dedicated to maintaining and growing strong markets for renewable energy in the United States. REMA engages in education and advocacy efforts on behalf of an industry coalition of renewable energy marketers, utilities, equipment manufacturers, and others supportive of renewable energy markets. www.renewablemarketers.org