Guest Post: Overcoming Hurdles to Use more Renewable Energy

Guest Post: Overcoming Hurdles to Use more Renewable Energy

GM understands the importance of harnessing renewable energy, which is why we signed on with 11 other companies to make renewable energy investments easier.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014 - 11:20am


Last week, General Motors joined 11 other companies committed to renewable energy in signing on to the Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles – a clear set of guidelines designed to help utilities and renewable energy providers understand how they can help make renewable energy investments easier for companies and meet rising demand.

As one of the manufacturing industry’s leading users of renewables, we understand the importance of harnessing the power of solar, landfill gas and biomass. We’ve made a public commitment to reach 125 megawatts of renewable energy by 2020 and we’re just over halfway there today.

Renewable energy brings business and environmental value to General Motors, our customers, and the communities in which we operate.  It reduces our carbon footprint and business risks.

More strategically, it improves energy security and supplements our commitment to a cleaner energy future through the introduction of our electric vehicles.

While the benefits are significant, the path to incorporating these large projects are often complex and require overcoming various regulatory, policy, and/or financial obstacles.

The World Wildlife Fund and World Resources Institute formed this informal consortium of 12 companies to identify commonalities among us, share best practices and create a set of guiding principles that help the renewables market understand the needs of large renewable energy buyers, like GM, that are seeking to further increase their use of renewables.

Throughout all of our discussions, we were guided by one goal: make renewables more affordable and accessible for all companies.

By coming together, we intend to use our experiences to help utilities and other renewable energy providers identify challenges with the current system and rise to meet unmet demand. We want to open up new opportunities for collaboration and see this growing sector flourish.

Although we’ve installed solar panels on the roof of our buildings and invested in landfill gas co-generation equipment to produce electricity from landfill gas, we’re only half-way to our goal.  We still have a lot of investing to do so it’s important to support the growth of the renewable energy market and its options.  Joining and working collaboratively with other companies and the WWF and WRI to advance the market makes good business sense and we’re pleased to be among the companies leading this movement.

About the author

David Tulauskas is General Motors director of sustainability.