A recent report by Greenpeace shows that five of our largest green retailers are committing to 100% renewable energy. But there’s still quite a way to go before their goals are achieved.
The Big Green Five
The ‘Shopping Clean – Retailers and Renewable Energy‘ report shows that the top five green retailers are Woolworths, Checkers, Pick ’n Pay, Spar, and Massmart (which includes Game, Makro and Cambridge Food, among others). The report ranked the retailers against each other and studied their activity in crucial areas, such as greenhouse gas mitigation and energy transparency. Woolworths came out in first place and has committed to having 100% renewable energy by 2030. However, none of the retailers excelled overall and none of them participated in lobbying for renewal energy obstacles to be removed.
Woolworths came out in first place and has committed to having 100% renewable energy by 2030
What’s Standing in the Way Of Renewable Energy
One of the main obstacles to renewable energy is Small-Scale Embedded Generation (SSEG). This gives retailers and households a chance to generate their own power with renewable energy, but The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) must provide guidelines on how to interact with private renewable energy generators. The whole process has been delayed, hitting the brakes for now on the retailers’ renewable energy success. The Greenpeace report outlined what the retailers should do in order to stay on the path to achieving renewable energy goals in the near future. These steps include having clear plans of how to achieve electricity targets, setting goals for energy-efficiency, and lobbying government to remove the obstacles to renewable energy.
If the retailers were completely powered by renewable energy, they would each free up electricity for approximately 50,000 houses in South Africa
Lighting Up The Country
The Big Five are in a powerful position to make big changes for our country. Renewable energy in retail stores has many benefits. These include lower electricity costs and enhancement of productivity by not having to deal with issues such as load shedding. But renewable energy in the retail sector can also benefit the country. The report shows that if the retailers were completely powered by renewable energy, they would each free up electricity for approximately 50,000 houses in South Africa.