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The largest corporations in the world are signing agreements for massive amounts of wind and solar power. According to a new report from Wood Mackenzie and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), we’re at the beginning stage of a corporate renewables procurement boom, driven not just by goals around mitigating climate change but also by highly competitive renewable project economics.
In the report, Analysis of Commercial and Industrial Wind Energy Demand in the United States, Wood Mackenzie estimates that up to 85 gigawatts of renewable energy demand exists within the largest U.S. companies through 2030. According to the report, corporate leaders such as AT&T, General Motors and Facebook contracted more than six gigawatts of power purchase agreements (PPAs) in 2018 alone, representing a new record. Wood Mackenzie and AWEA note that despite a substantial uptick in renewables procurement over the past five years, the overall penetration of renewables in the power mix for Fortune 1000 companies remains limited at approximately 5 percent. At nearly 1200 terawatt-hours, the non-renewable power demand for these corporations represents an enormous opportunity. The report provides a scenario-based outlook for both wind and solar installations to satisfy Commercial and Industrial (C&I) demand by region through 2030. Today, C&I customers are procuring more wind than solar power; however, the report notes that demand for solar power is growing rapidly and may soon take hold in some of wind power’s regional strongholds.
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