SBTi definition of Renewable Energy

Hello, I apologise if I have missed this but I have been through the various SBTi documentation and searched through this forum but have been unable to locate a specific definition for ‘renewable energy’, this may sound daft but what is actually considered to be renewable for example nuclear can technically sit in both camps as a fuel source is required despite that not being fossil fuel based so if possible could anybody point me in the direction of a recognised definition.

Hi Mike,

Thanks for posting! We currently would use the same definition of renewable energy as the RE100 initiative.


Dear Howard and MikeDiamond

thank you for this helpful thread. However, RE100 defines “Renewable Energy” not by an intensity metric but rather by energy sources:
• Solar;
• Geothermal;
• Sustainably sourced biomass (including biogas); and
• Sustainable hydropower.

In this post by Eoin from Apr22 it is mentioned, that nuclear energy is considered “renewable” due to its low emission intensity.

Since we are currently a Situation where our portfolio for “Corporate Loan for electricity generation” has a very low emission intensity already: (0,019 tCO2e/MWh) (but there is some “non renewable according to RE100” gas peakers in the portfolio) we were wondering whether this is now considered:

  1. Already renewable due to it’s low emissions intensity → therefore we set a maintenance target
  2. Is not considered renewable → therefore we set a “normal SDA”

Any help on this question would be highly appreciated. I am looking forward to hearing from you.

  • Frenky

@HowardS - is there any chance to receive an update to this question? We are already in a phase where we would like to submit our targets and we would really appreciate guidance on this issue.

We are currently arguing, that a “normal SDA” would not make much sense in our current situation. Mainly due to the fact, the an additional reduction of 73,6% until 2030 (target year) would not even be realisticly reachable with only investments in renewable energy producers (by RE100 defition).
We are therefore opting for the “maintenancy target” option.

A low emissions intensity maintenance target has been proposed for electricity generation project finance in draft Version 2 of the Near-Term Financial Sector SBT Guidance under certain conditions. This is to help accommodate FIs that have already achieved, at a portfolio level, the emissions intensity required to align with the 2030 sector intensity level in a 1.5°C pathway. Please see Section 5.4.1 and Appendix C for more details.

The proposed changes in draft Version 2 are up for public consultation so we welcome your feedback/questions on this document, and two other new documents, through the survey by Aug 14.