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Understanding of renewables growing in big business

A growing number of big businesses now understand the benefits of going renewable and are even sharing their experiences with competitors, The Climate Group chief executive Mark Kenber has said.

Speaking to Clean Energy News ahead of this month’s Clean Energy Summit, Kenber said that understanding of renewables and clean power was growing within business circles, with the majority of companies falling within four broad groups.

“There are those who are already 100% renewables… There are those that are 100% renewable but do a hell of a lot by buying RECs, then there are those who started, and have mapped out a very clear plan on how they're going to get to 100%, and have paid large amounts to consultants and all the others.

“Then there are those who, either because they're that kind of company or because they see their competitors doing it, have committed without having the foggiest idea of what they're doing and look for help,” Kenber said.

The Climate Group manages the RE100, a global list of companies who have committed to deriving 100% of their electricity demand from renewable sources through various means. While some companies commit to considerable on-site generation, others elect to purchase their electricity from ‘green tariffs’, which have found themselves the subject of considerable debate in utility circles.

While a growing number of businesses have elected to ‘go green’ – Hewlett Packard and Sky are the two most recent multinationals to join the RE100’s ranks – Kenber said that there was still an underlying fear within some companies about the possibility of doing so incorrectly and being scrutinised as a result.

“That's always a risk. If you do nothing nobody cares, but if you do something people pay attention to you,” he added.

However Kenber also said that he had witnessed much greater collaboration between businesses, with many entities sharing best practices whether they are historically competitive one another or not.

“There are more events, more publications, more companies sharing with each other. It's interesting because a lot of companies don't see this as a competitive issue with each other because it's not their core business, so they're quite happy to share information,” he said.