Rahul Raj, director of sustainability and merchandising innovation at Walmart.com, said that the retail giant aspires to 100% renewable power.
“As part of our aspirational goal of being 100% powered by renewable energy we envision a world where people do not have to choose between electricity they can afford and renewable electricity.
“We believe we will make clean, renewable energy more affordable for everyone.
“A new energy future can contribute to every day low costs and enable everyday low prices for our customers. In our minds, cleantech has arrived.”
Walmart serves customers more than 200 million times per week at 10,270 retail outlets in 27 countries and employs more than 2.2 million associates globally, 1.4 million in the United States. Fiscal year 2012 sales reached $444 billion and ranked first on the 2011 Fortune 500 list of the world’s largest companies by revenue.
Roughly 22% of Walmart’s electricity needs globally are supplied by clean energy sources, Raj told the Cleantech Open Conferencein Santa Clara, California. In California, approximately 75% of Walmart owned locations will have rooftop solar installed by the end of 2013, he said.
“Our renewable energies are focused on the development and installation of new renewable energy projects. Driving down the cost of renewable energy, building scale and securing cost-effective, stable energy pricing that meets or beats utility pricing.
He said that Walmart believed that nine conditions applied to drive a high volume of renewables, including mature technologies and companies as well as low-cost financing.
“Often lenders will lower the cost of capital and other preferred finance terms as a result of our lower risk profile as one of the project partners. In some of our markets unexpected finance risk like past currency crises have made lenders unwilling to finance projects in those markets especially for utility scale projects.”