Run Faster to Achieve Renewable Energy Goals

Christine Vargo / May 29, 2018 / Energy Solutions

Markets will always adopt the better answers to existing problems and opportunities. Those who run fastest, and first, toward this better answer are rewarded. Steve Jobs may have been the greatest example of this. Jobs could detect where the market would go, and then provide the better answer through innovative technology. In his own words, Jobs said:

“These waves of technology, you can see them way before they happen, and you just have to choose wisely which ones you’re going to surf… We realized that almost all – maybe all – of future consumer electronics, the primary technology was going to be software. And we were pretty good at software. We could do the operating system software. We could write applications on the Mac or even PC, like iTunes. We could write the software in the device, like you might put in an iPod or an iPhone or something. And we could write the back-end software that runs on a cloud, like iTunes.”

Technology had Jobs. Energy has Amory Lovins. Lovins, in his revolutionary paper, “Energy Strategy: The Road Not Taken?,” was arguably one of the first to encourage the US to set and achieve renewable energy goals in the 1970s. Lovins petitioned the US to rapidly shift its energy policy toward soft energy sources, like solar, which are economical, sustainable, and environmentally sensible. For Lovins, renewable energy was primarily about security and sustainability, and the environment second. As he said: “It’s all about efficient and restorative use of resources to make the world secure, prosperous and life-sustaining.”

Follow the Money

But, this isn’t news to you. As an energy executive or sustainability director, you have been the visionary voice, like Jobs or Lovins, in your organization. You know renewable energy sources are the better answer. You have seen the market rapidly shift to this better answer by following where money and investment are flowing.

There has been a significant shift in how corporations think about energy. It’s no longer just about achieving renewable energy goals or a cost line on the income statement, but how energy strategy can generate returns.  In 2017, corporations signed purchase power agreements for 2.8 GW worth of renewable energy; the RE100 grew by 40%; and green bonds increased by 78% with majority participation from the US, China, and France. Xcel Energy of Colorado received shockingly low bids for wind (median bid of $18/MW hour) and solar (median bid of $29.5/MW hour). Prices at these levels have also driven big oil to invest rapidly in renewables.

You have been running fast after this better answer to achieving renewable energy goals. Your key barrier does not lie with technology solutions (they are here), partners (there are many), but in gaining the internal buy-in needed to execute. You need “running partners” in your organization. But, how do you convince key stakeholders that renewable energy solutions are the better answer?

Winning Over Running Partners

Over the next few months, our leadership team wants to help you overcome these barriers to internal buy-in as you seek to achieve renewable energy goals. We want to equip you with the answers to the key questions you are confronted with when advocating for this better answer.

1.  “Will this make sense for our bottom line?”

We know you have boards to account to and profit is only realized by keeping costs in check. Despite evidence of the value of renewables, some still believe renewable energy solutions are cost prohibitive. Next month, our CEO, Jam Attari, will break down the economics of renewable energy so you are equipped with the facts your leaders crave.


2. “Have you done your due diligence?”

Be equipped to share your procuring principles with best practices from our Vice President of Power Marketing, Rebecca Sternberg. Rebecca will share her first-hand experience of successfully selling sustainability to upper management when working for a global consulting firm early in her career. Rebecca’s experience is a great case study on the importance of understanding the currency of your culture, as well as the importance of strong research.

3. “What about battery storage or bifacial panels [or insert any new novel technology]?”

It is no secret that there are a lot of new and novel renewable technologies. You simply cannot escape a headline of battery storage. Our Executive Vice President of Development, Vitaly Lee, will share the evolution of renewable technology, as well as the diversification across the customer base and the value proposition of renewable energy. These changes provide opportunities for your organization.

 4. “Did you consider international operations?”

You may have global operations to consider, and your key stakeholders will want to know you have considered this. Our leadership team in Latin America, Regional Manager Mario Pani, and Vice President of Project Development Gerardo Ferrando, will discuss procuring renewable energy in emerging markets, with a specific focus on the Mexico market. Join Mario and Gerardo as they discuss: unlocking the basics of a new market, deciding how you want to procure energy in an emerging market, and selecting the right partner.

Run Hard, Reap the Rewards

Over the next several months we are going to dive deeply into answers for each of these questions by providing focused content on: the economics of renewable energy; the importance of strong procuring principles; a look into new and novel renewable technology; and how best to procure renewable energy in emerging markets.

Our goal is to provide the practical knowledge and tactical resources you need to win new “running partners” internally. Harkening back to Jobs: “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” We want you to be equipped to help your organization think innovatively about your energy procurement, so you can be a frontrunner toward the better answer and achieve renewable energy goals. Check back to our blog near the beginning of every month to follow along as we provide the answers you need to these questions above. We are excited to join you as you run fast after this better answer.

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