OPINION | When supermarket goes renewable, you know it means business

Supermarkets are sold on solar and wind

In towns and cities across the country, a quiet revolution is taking place as Australia's businesses shift to 100 per cent renewable energy.

Recently Woolworths, Australia's largest supermarket chain and one of the nation's top energy users, committed to 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2025. It follows businesses like Bunnings, Officeworks and ALDI who've made a 100 per cent renewable energy commitment this year.

With over 1000 stores nationwide, Woolworths will put wind and solar at the heart of many Australian communities. The Fresh Food People are set to be the fresh energy people, showing renewable energy can power even our biggest services.

What's more, it will increase Australia's renewable energy capacity. Woolworths is looking to source the majority of their electricity needs from 880MW of new-build wind and solar farms across Australia's regions. That will generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 325,000 homes - that's more than all the homes in Tasmania and Northern Territory combined.

It's no accident, it just makes business sense. Wind and solar are the cheapest forms of new energy generation, and serious momentum is building around Australia's energy transition.

Just this week came the NSW Government's $32bn clean energy plan that will create thousands of local jobs. Companies have their finger on the pulse and can see that renewable energy is where we're headed.

It's also something shoppers increasingly expect. Over two million Australian homes have solar and now Australians are looking to the brands they interact with to do the same, as environmental and climate concerns play a role in purchasing decisions.

But the renewables revolution isn't just taking place in Australia. It's everywhere.

At a time where the world's major countries and companies make plans to future proof their economies and businesses, the case for switching to renewables continues to stack up. Solar prices have gone down 90 per cent in the past decade and wind is down 60 per cent.

Big companies have big power bills, using around 70 per cent of the national electricity supply. Getting on the renewables roadtrain will deliver savings, and create three times as many jobs per dollar spent. In a recession, this is the spending we need to see.

It's time our major companies and Government committed to 100 per cent renewable electricity. Australia can't afford to miss out on this giant opportunity.

Lindsay Soutar is Campaign Director for REenergise, a campaign to encourage businesses to commit to renewable energy