Clean Energy a Draw for Businesses
Did you know that as of 2016, the commercial and industrial (C&I) market for wind and solar power reached around five gigawatts (GW)? And that by 2025, that number is expected to grow by 60 GW? To put it in perspective, that’s the equivalent of powering over 43 million homes.
Given these numbers, there’s no doubt that the demand for renewable energy (RE) in the corporate space is greater than ever before. Businesses need the ability to grow their operations in a cost-efficient and sustainable way, which in today’s market means increasing usage of RE.
To keep up with this growing demand, companies need the states in which they do business to enable access to clean energy. Retail and technology industries in particular know that policies and regulations at the state level have the ability to either fuel this momentum or act as barriers. Naturally state policies tend to vary widely, and this issue is no different. Some state electricity market structures enable more customer choice than others, which can impact the cost and appeal of RE within the state. That ultimately influences where corporations choose to invest in renewable projects, and factors into where they decide to expand their operational footprint.
With this in mind, RILA and the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) set out to develop the Corporate Clean Energy Procurement Index: State Leadership & Rankings, which ranks all 50 U.S. states based upon the ease with which companies can procure RE for their operations located within each state.
The index consists of 15 indicators, broken into three categories: Utility Purchasing Options, Third-Party Purchasing Options, and Onsite/Direct Deployment Options. Iowa ranks first in the overall rankings, leading what is seen as regional progress throughout the Midwest. The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic are also generally favorable for corporate customers seeking RE options.
In addition to ranking the states, the report identifies barriers that inhibit states from growing their economies through domestic RE, and offers a five-point action plan for state governors, legislators, regulators, utilities, third-party providers, and corporations themselves can support to encourage the procurement of RE by large institutional customers. The recommendations to state policymakers include deregulating power markets to enable customer choice of RE, lowering artificial taxes that target domestic clean energy producers, and allowing businesses to have onsite RE production.
The full Corporate Clean Energy Procurement Index: State Leadership & Rankings can be accessed here.