India’s biggest auto maker, Tata Motors, is the latest corporate behemoth to commit to using 100% renewable electricity.
Tata is the 54th corporation in RE100, joining BMW, Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Nike, Google, Microsoft and Adobe and many others.
"The RE100 movement is giving a clear signal that the transition to renewable energy is achievable. The world’s leading sustainable companies are getting prepared for this major change by committing to go for renewable electricity and Tata Motors is proud to join such an initiative," says Arvind Bodhankar, Chief Sustainability Officer.
Solar and wind supply just 8% of Tata Motors’s electricity for manufacturing, and it plans to ramp quickly. Last we heard, Tata is working on the AIRPod, a tiny urban car that runs on compressed air.
In an interview with RE100, Bodhankar says:
"Our approach towards climate change mitigation and pursuing low carbon growth is three-fold – develop cleaner and more efficient vehicles, reduce environmental impacts of manufacturing operations, and build awareness among stakeholders."
With energy-intensive manufacturing switching over, it will accelerate demand for renewables and "send a positive signal to the market", he says.
They have already upgrade energy efficiency through heat recovery systems, optimized pumps and furnaces, that saved over 44,000 megawatt-hours last year. Now they are conducting life cycle assessments of car products to minimize environmental impacts.
And Ratan Tata, Chair of Tata Group is a member of Richard Branson’s B Team, which is working on FINALLY making business a "force for good." In February, the group called for world leaders to commit to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 – and urged corporations to match the goal in their own long-term targets.
Other divisions of Tata are also pursuing renewables, such as Tata Solar, which will be rolled into Tata Power’s new renewable energy arm, TPREL.
Indeed, India plans is to double the coal tax (which finances clean energy) to $6 per ton this year, even as it doubles output.
India’s incredible goal is to install 175 GW of solar and wind by 2022, up from 36 MW now. Last year, Prime Minister Modi began calling on investors to ante up $100 billion to meet his goals, and since then they have done exactly that, according to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.