More than a decade ago, a host of U.S. companies capitalized on voluntary energy purchases to help drive down wind and solar energy costs, revealing the financial strength of the nation’s power sector to spur the nation’s access to clean energy. Now, those same companies are being asked to once again give similar treatment to much-needed next-generation clean energy technologies. An alliance of nearly 300 major corporations, whose members also include Microsoft Corp., Walmart Inc., Inc. and General Motors Co., is seeking to channel financial support to clean energy options such as long-term batteries, geothermal energy, hydrogen fuels, hydropower installations on existing dams, CO2 capture from gas-fired power plants and new nuclear reactor projects to help jump-start these technologies. To learn more read, “300 companies chart path for CO2-free energy technology.”

Key Takeaways:

  • According to studies by Princeton researchers and other analysts, a huge ramp-up in wind and solar power and infrastructure in this decade could bring the share of clean power in the U.S. to roughly 70 percent. 
  • Over the past 15 years, business and industry have been catalysts for the addition of over 42,000 megawatts of new renewable power in the U.S., and so far this year they have been responsible for 40 percent of new renewables additions.
  • Google has also signed purchasing contracts with startup Fervo Energy, which is adapting oil and gas fracking methods to the production of geothermal energy to generate power 
  • A study which used a complex electricity planning model from Princeton and Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers, assessed the effect on carbon emissions in California and the PJM Interconnection grid of switching to an around-the-clock clean energy procurement rather than contracts for annual totals. 

Path to 100% Perspective: 

The alliance of companies seeking to capitalize on voluntary energy purchases is accelerating decarbonization by identifying the fastest, most reliable and  most cost-effective ways to reach net-zero energy across cities, states, and nations. Over the past 20 years, the cost per kilowatt of wind power plants has decreased by 40%, while the cost of solar generation has dropped by 90%. Renewable generation is attracting more investment dollars than fossil-powered generation year after year. Current market trends show the energy landscape is in transition towards more flexible energy systems with a rapidly increasing share of renewable energy, declining inflexible baseload generation and wider applications of storage technology.


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