One year ago, the United States pulled out from the Paris Agreement and left it up to individual states, communities, businesses, and organizations to continue the fight for clean energy. What might have resulted in a huge roadblock for progress has actually resulted in motivation for Fortune 500 companies, local governments, schools, and many more individuals taking it upon themselves to persevere.
Apple, Google, Wal-Mart, and General Motors are notable corporations making an impact by setting an example for all businesses. Billions of dollars have been invested into wind and solar energy to power daily operations. That same investment has lead to massive boons in clean energy jobs and initiatives for new plants, and yes, equally massive savings actually driving profits.
The next step is a bit of a question mark: Will these companies’ efforts stay on the margins or create a trend that fosters a new era of clean energy operations?
According to The New York Times, “Last year in the United States, 19 large corporations announced deals with energy providers to build 2.78 gigawatts worth of wind and solar generating capacity, equal to one-sixth of all of the renewable capacity added nationwide in 2017,” based on calculations from the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Business Renewable Center.
The total amount of renewable energy produced also appears to be accelerating with deals in place for an additional 2.48 gigawatts of wind and solar power by companies such as AT&T and Nestlé. Some of these companies claim that the decision to “go green” long-term is not so much a declaration for the Paris Agreement, but a financially sound product. Prices continue to plummet for renewable options as more join in the transition toward 100 percent renewable solutions.
Whatever the intent, it is the work of these companies and all those who have followed suit that keep prices and availability the best option for a business of any size. Moreover, governments now feel empowered to keep the trend going by laying out legislation to ensure any business can “go green” should they desire.
“We think this is a major trend,” said Lisa Wood, vice president of customer solutions at the Edison Electric Institute, a major utility trade group. “Customers are becoming the driver.”
Like any problem, the move away from fossil fuels requires our continued attention and more answers. Together, we are paving the way for swift movements like we have seen in the past year from several of the world’s largest corporations. Continue reading about obstacles such as how to help ease businesses, especially small businesses, into a system that appreciates large consumption and what the future could hold if we are unable to reach 100 percent in its entirety at The New York Times.
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Source: The New York Times