Exclusive: Major companies united to push climate solutions

At-a-Glance:

A group of eight large companies, including tech and entertainment heavy hitters such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, Disney and Netflix, are joining environmental groups and the U.N. to devise ways to scale funding for climate solutions. The collective will be called the Business Alliance to Scale Climate Solutions (BASCS), and will serve as a knowledge-sharing network that has the potential to accelerate companies’ emissions reduction efforts. To learn more, read “Exclusive: Major companies united to push climate solutions.”

Key Takeaways:

  • The new alliance allows firms that might otherwise compete with one another to launch clean energy projects to collaborate before engaging in such competition.
  • The alliance is explicit about preventing companies from simply trying to offset their emissions, and firms that join need to agree to core principles that emphasize the need for absolute emissions cuts.
  • Max Scher, who heads clean energy and carbon programs at Salesforce, told Axios that the alliance is unique in that it’s by businesses for businesses, and aims to break down silos in which many currently operate.

Path to 100% Perspective:

The global energy market is constantly evolving. Current market trends show the energy landscape is in transition towards more flexible energy systems with a rapidly increasing share of renewable energy, declining inflexible baseload generation and wider applications of storage technology. The declining costs of renewables have begun to reduce new investments into coal and other inflexible baseload technologies; a transition which will eventually cause renewables to become the new baseload. In 2017 itself, 14% of electricity generation worldwide was attributed to wind and solar. A focus on a renewable energy future is now unwavering for collaborators across public and private sectors alike.

Oil Majors Look to Fill Businesses’ Growing Appetite for Green Power

At-a-Glance:

Businesses are buying more renewable power, and oil majors want a piece of the action. European oil companies including BP PLC and Royal Dutch Shell PLC are building new wind and solar projects and striking deals to supply electricity to big corporate buyers like Amazon.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp., treading into the domain of traditional power companies. To learn more, read Oil Majors Look to Fill Businesses’ Growing Appetite for Green Power.” Reading this article may require a subscription from the news outlet.

Key Takeaways:

  • Oil companies say securing long-term deals to supply electricity will provide a new source of income and underpin their expansion into wind and solar power as they seek to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and prepare for a lower-carbon economy.
  • Corporate power-purchase agreements are an area of focus for BP’s solar-power joint venture Lightsource BP, which this year signed deals to supply Amazon, Verizon Communications Inc. and a unit of insurer Allianz SE.
  • New deals continue to be struck at a rapid pace, rising 75% in the first four months of the year versus the same period a year ago, the BNEF data showed.

Path to 100% Perspective:

Bloomberg New Energy Finance projects that new wind and solar will cost less than existing coal and gas generation in China by 2027, and that new wind and solar will be cheaper than existing goal and gas generation in most of the world by 2030. As wind and solar power become increasingly cost-competitive, investments in traditional, inflexible base load plants such as large coal, nuclear, and gas combined-cycle plants are declining. This signals an end to the era of large, centralized power plants that run on fossil fuels.