Empowering Renewable Energy Buyers

Welcome REBA members and potential future members! If you’ve landed on this blog that means you must want to be a part of an organization that is actively working together to drive necessary and transformational change in the future of energy. Wow! Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?  

When I first started out, looking over the ever-changing and often-complicated world of renewable energy, I really wished there was a group out there that could help navigate success and impact from just talking the talk. In 2017, I was lucky enough to be introduced to the Business Renewable Center (BRC) that helped me get my feet underneath me on this front, which has evolved into the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) and has been the exact organization the industry needs to keep pushing us forward. Seriously, find me one other place that gathers THE world experts in VPPAs, on-site generation, REC-swaps, IFRS accounting models, negative pricing, additionality…all to help your organization understand and make good decisions in this space. You can’t! 

This year, I have the unique opportunity to both work at a company like Saint-Gobain, which has been around for more than 350 years and Chair the Advisory Board for an organization in its very first year. This has provided me with a truly unique perspective on the state of the world. Already, Saint-Gobain has learned so much from other member companies, be they established giants like GM and Disney, or “newer” companies (relatively speaking) like Google and Microsoft. Thankfully, REBA has brought us together where can learn from their leadership and grow. 

While REBA as an industry trade group is technically new, the combined knowledge on renewable energy amongst our members is unmatched in depth, breadth, and expertise. That should be enough for anyone considering renewable energy for their company to join, but if it’s not, know that we aren’t resting on our past experiences alone. As an Advisory Board, we are actively working to making REBA even better. Our five committees, made up of those same experts, are pushing REBA to develop even more impactful programs, policy positions, and even exploring opportunities from the international markets and strengthening our supply chains. This organization is truly set to serve the needs of the market today and pushing past we’ve already been into the places the world needs us to go.  

I couldn’t be more proud that Saint-Gobain is part of REBA and I know what this group can achieve together will be simply remarkable. Welcome one and all!  

Ryan Spies
Advisory Board Chair, REBA
Director of Sustainability, Energy and Stewardship, Saint-Gobain North America

Unlocking Renewable Energy for All

When I joined Google, in 2007, wind and solar were still nascent technologies, often too expensive to make business sense for most companies. Today, though, we’re living in a whole different world. Clean energy is outcompeting fossil fuels on grids around the globe and companies and organizations are responding by buying record-setting amounts of clean power. For Google, 2018 was the second year in a row in which we matched 100 percent of our global electricity consumption with renewable sources. It’s truly amazing that renewable energy has come so far, so fast. 

And yet, the degree of progress has varied from organization to organization. Larger companies like Google have been able to purchase clean energy because we have the scale, resources, and expertise to sign complex, long-term deals or partner directly with utilities or governments. However, for most organizations, their energy procurement hasn’t changed much since renewables burst onto the scene. The owners of your neighborhood bakery, for example, probably have no more ability to determine the source of their electricity than they did a decade ago. Renewable energy may be cheap, but it’s still often difficult to access.    

The Renewable Energy Buyers’ Alliance (REBA) has the power to open the floodgates. To address climate change, we urgently need to make it simple for any organization — from bakeries on up to retailers, hospitals, and corporations — to buy low-cost renewable energy. We’ll get there by working together, across industries and sectors, to systematically overcome every barrier — from insufficient buyer education to outdated policies — standing in the way of widespread access to carbon-free electricity. Ultimately, choosing renewable energy should be as easy as clicking a button.  

As REBA’s Board Chair, I’m most inspired today by the fact that a group like ours even exists. Over four hundred of the world’s most sophisticated energy buyers and service providers, as well as four of the top NGOs working in energy, have come together in support of a single, focused mission: democratize renewable energy. When I got into this business, it would have been unimaginable for so many companies and other leaders to come together with so much ambition. Now, the opportunity in front of us is not only real, but achievable. So let’s get to work, speak with one voice, and grow the ranks of the world’s renewable energy buyers far and wide.  

Michael Terrell
Board Chair, REBA
Head of Energy Market Strategy, Google