Report: Solar, wind on the rise in corporate America — despite Trump

Even as solar companies struggle — including layoffs at local firms SolarCity and SunPower — corporate America is stepping up its renewable goals.

Demand for renewable energy is growing among Fortune 100 companies, according to a survey released this week by Advanced Energy Economy, a lobby for the renewable energy industry. The report found 71 companies have set renewable energy goals or targets for sustainability, an 18 percent increase from two years ago.

Among the top 500 companies surveyed, 43 percent, or 215 firms, said they have renewable targets. The number has remained unchanged since the last report.

Advanced Energy Economy, or AEE, found that some state regulations hamper corporate efforts to procure renewable energy. Large companies, including Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon, have been able negotiate with local utilities for their renewable goals.

Will renewable energy keep momentum under President Donald Trump? The president-elect announced Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as his choice for EPA commissioner. Pruitt is an oil industry ally and has been a vocal and litigious critic of the agency.

Environmental advocates torched the selection.

 

 

Industry insiders believe the renewable market has enough momentum to continue growing during the Trump presidency. Google claims it will run on 100 percent green energy by 2017.

Last month Walmart announced it would increase investments in renewable energy and pledged to power half its operations from green sources by 2025.

“Companies are committed to purchase renewable energy one way or another—it’s just a question of where and how, and that’s a race every state should want to win,” AEE’s Malcolm Woolf said in a statement. “Clearly, this trend isn’t going away. States that make it easier for companies to purchase renewable energy will be rewarded with new economic development, tax revenues and jobs.”

Photo: The Ivanpah solar thermal project in California’s Mojave desert. (Courtesy BrightSource)

 

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