Beyond the Megawatt
Not all renewable energy projects have equal material impact on advancing a zero-carbon grid. Factors such as saturation of the regional grid with other renewables, balancing challenges, and other factors result in some projects having less material impact than others.
Renewable energy projects have non-financial impacts, even beyond producing clean energy.
Large energy buyers have demonstrated an increasing interest in more sophisticated procurement that emphasizes benefits across their environmental, social, and governance areas of focus, including but not limited to: environmental justice and civil rights; conservation and wildlife impacts; national security and energy security; among others.
The REBA Institute is grateful to Salesforce for funding and their grounding work on More than a Megawatt to start initiative.
This work will increase the material impact of large‐energy‐users’ renewable/clean energy projects toward the zero‐carbon energy system. The REBA Institute is focused on advancing organizations’ efforts to include nonfinancial criteria into procurement processes.
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Current Focus Areas
Achieving impact through renewable energy projects can take on many forms and create many co-benefits. Benefits may fall into the categories of environmental or social (or a combination of both). In fact, many times when focused on one criteria, many other benefits may present themselves.
The REBA Institute recognizes that there is much work to do on this. Our current areas of focus are:
- Climate and emissions: Build the community’s knowledge of and engagement with procurement methods to focus on climate change impacts and GHG reductions. Solve for the systemic challenges that limit the ability of companies to make informed decisions on the climate impacts of projects
- Frontline Community co-benefits: Ensure marginalized and minority communities benefit from the clean tech revolution by integrating climate and energy justice into clean energy programs
- Diversity, equity and inclusion: Engage the renewable energy community in discussions to come to a common understanding of DEI challenges and opportunities in their organizations.
There is overlap among many of the benefits, which may include:
- Climate and avoided emissions
- Land use
- Wildlife protection
- Material management through the life cycle
- Air quality
- Water quality
- Just Energy Transition
- Frontline community co-benefits
- Diversity, equity, and inclusion
- Energy Access
- Grid modernization and resilience
- Economic development