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RE100 Initiative Now Recruiting Chinese Companies to Switch to 100% Renewables

RE100, a global initiative aimed at recruiting and encouraging major companies to use 100 percent renewable power across their operations, has announced a partnership with the China Renewable Energy Industries Association (CREIA) as part of a major new drive to help companies in China adopt renewable energy.

This week, The Climate Group published a report that found corporate demand for renewable energy is growing quickly in China. The country is already the largest investor in the renewable energy market, with an increased investment of $89.5 billion in 2014. China’s leadership is sending a clear signal to businesses to adopt low-carbon solutions that will help tackle the country’s pollution and energy challenges, as well as consolidate Chinese leadership in this market.

“China already sees the necessity for ramping up renewable energy generation. What is now emerging is the huge opportunity that businesses have to push forward this growth,” said Megan Tang, Vice Secretary General at CREIA. “The RE100 partnership between The Climate Group and CREIA provides a platform for building capacity within major Chinese businesses to address technical and financial barriers which will lead to adoption being accelerated much more efficiently.”

The report, RE100: China’s Fast Track to a Renewable Future, identified the largest growth areas available opportunities for corporations looking to invest in clean energy. Solar PV emerges as one of the most popular, with rooftop solar projects currently offering the industrial and commercial sectors a payback period of seven to nine years and an 8 percent rate of return, according to CREIA data.

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“China is demonstrating leadership which will help move the Chinese and global economies in a low-carbon direction that will bring benefits for businesses and policymakers alike,” said Emily Farnworth, RE100 Campaign Director at The Climate Group. “By 2020, China plans to have 100GW of solar and 200GW of wind installed. To meet these ambitious targets, policy makers are increasingly turning to corporations to help China transition to a low-carbon economy. For instance, in 2013, the Chinese government introduced new feed-in tariffs (FITs), at both state and provincial levels, to fuel the growth of distributed solar rooftop installations.”

Last month Elion Resources Group , a leading desert and urban environmental restoration business, became the first Chinese company to sign up to the campaign. The business, which has total assets of more than RMB100 billion (over US$160 billion), has already financed an on-grid, 110-MW solar PV power station and is planning a new 5,000-MW solar PV project.

“We know that investing into these solutions make business sense for companies — it ensures energy security, curbs fluctuating costs and reduces their own footprint — and we are committed to supporting and celebrating those businesses in China that will now make that smart investment,” Farnworth said.

Launching in May 2015 in China, RE100 is set to deliver a series of capacity-building workshops to help companies overcome the most common technical, financial and policy barriers when making the shift to clean energy.

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