Renewable energy demand among U.S. companies is significant and growing quickly, according to a report from Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), a clean energy trade group.
The AEE report, 2016 Corporate Advanced Energy Commitments, found that 71 of Fortune 100 companies have set renewable energy or sustainability targets, up from 60 just two years ago.
- Among Fortune 500 companies, commitments have held steady at 43%, or 215 firms, the report found.
Corporate buyers of wind power outpaced utilities last year in a trend that has been gathering steam for years. Driven by corporate sustainability goals and dwindling from utilities, corporations have stepped up as the go-to buyers of renewable energy.
“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,” Malcolm Woolf, senior vice president of policy and government affairs at AEE, said in a statement.
A separate report Center for New Energy Economy at Colorado State University (CNEE) noted that corporate renewable commitments present challenges, as well as opportunities for states to capitalize on corporate commitments to sustainable growth.
According to the report, states have so far had mixed success at navigating the trade-offs, but by considering corporate renewable energy targets alongside the utility resource planning process, states can resolve the challenges and realize the benefits.
“Utilities have been working with their large corporate customers for years to ensure good outcomes under demand-side management programs, and there’s no reason this success can’t translate over to renewable procurement,” Jeff Lyng, senior policy advisor at CNEE and lead author of the paper, said in a statement.