Google, Walmart, GM Part of New Corporate Alliance Banking on Wind and Solar

Key Takeaways:

  • A new organization aims to encourage renewable energy procurement
  • Companies like Google, General Motors, and Johnson & Johnson are on board
  • Creating purchasing power consortium with a focus on buying clean energy

A new organization calling itself the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) is out to transform the way America’s biggest companies—from Walmart and Google to General Motors and Johnson & Johnson—invest in renewables. According to NPR, the goal of the 200-member trade group is to make buying wind and solar power easier for corporations and consumers alike.

Using Purchasing Power to Move Towards 100% Renewables

By capitalizing on today’s low cost of renewables, and with an eye toward moving the policy in favor of greener energy consumption, these companies with their outsized economic muscle represent the latest tipping point pushing billions of dollars in investment out of fossil fuels and into clean energy.

Part of that involves removing barriers that have slowed the country’s shift from carbon-based to renewable sources of electricity. REBA’s CEO, Miranda Ballentine, said the organization will spur energy markets and drive public policy to enable widespread buying of renewable power. That means helping to bring more choices for clean power generation to regions which don’t currently have them. In other words: letting the free market, where renewables are ascendant and coal is in steep decline, truly dictate the options for people and businesses to buy energy.

REBA Removes Hurdles for Purchasing Renewable Energy

It also means using the group’s corporate purchasing power to boost innovation and help sway public policy in the form of lobbying efforts. “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,” Ballentine told NPR.

For corporate giants like Walmart, which seek to power their operations more cleanly and sustainably at a lower cost, REBA hopes to make purchasing renewable energy easier with less regulatory hurdles and market barriers. After all, in a system that celebrates the strength of free markets unfettered by government interference, unleashing the financial possibilities of clean energy is the most sensibly American thing to do.

As Priya Barua of the World Resources Institute said, REBA is “not just creating options for [corporate and industrial] customers, but using their collective buying power… to create options in the market that would benefit everybody.”



What We’re Reading: “From Walmart to Google, Companies Teaming Up to Buy More Solar and Wind Power,” as published on NPR.