National business organization Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) has announced the launch of the Advanced Energy Buyers Group, a collection of large energy users seeking to expand access to energy that is secure, clean and affordable. AEE says the Advanced Energy Buyers Group brings together corporate leaders committed to changing the policy landscape to increase opportunities for purchasing renewable energy and other advanced energy resources. Founding members of the new group include Walmart, Salesforce, Microsoft, Lockheed Martin, Amazon and Aligned Energy.
“A growing number of companies have made a commitment to advanced energy by setting renewable energy or energy-related sustainability targets, but antiquated market and regulatory barriers stand in the way,” says Malcolm Woolf, senior vice president of policy at AEE, which will facilitate the work of the new group. “With establishment of the Advanced Energy Buyers Group, industry and community leaders will have a new voice to advocate for federal and state policies that will expand access to all forms of advanced energy.”
According to a report published by AEE last year, 71 Fortune 100 companies have set renewable energy or energy-related sustainability targets, and the number is growing each year. More than 100 companies globally have committed to sourcing 100% of their electricity from renewable resources.
AEE says that in many markets across the country, policies and regulations must be brought up to date to allow companies to reach the goals they have set. The Advanced Energy Buyers Group will work toward policy solutions that make it easier for companies to pursue advanced energy solutions like wind power, fuel cells, demand response, energy storage, hydropower, solar and more.
“As Microsoft buys more renewable power, we are looking for ways to make these energy sources more affordable and accessible – for ourselves as well as other businesses and households,” says Rob Bernard, chief environmental strategist at Microsoft. “We’ve made good progress, but more work needs to be done to advance policies that make it easier and cheaper for more companies, schools, hospitals and families to buy clean energy. These policies help support businesses, create new jobs, strengthen our electricity grid and create a more sustainable future.”
“Salesforce is committed to reaching 100 percent renewable energy across global operations and to improving the state of the world,” says Patrick Flynn, senior director of sustainability at Salesforce. “We recently announced that Salesforce has achieved net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, that we’re providing a carbon-neutral cloud for our customers and that we’re the first Fortune 500 company to participate in San Francisco’s CleanPower SF program. Reaching 100 percent renewable energy is an ambitious target and we believe it can be done by working with peers, policymakers and local utilities.”
“The Advanced Energy Buyers Group is a new voice to engage legislators and regulators on policy issues – an important aspect for a market that has been moving towards renewables as the energy of choice,” says Lily Donge, principal of the Business Renewables Center at the Rocky Mountain Institute.