American Companies want Wind
As wind continues to make headway as an emerging domestic energy source, Fortune 500 companies are coming together to procure wind energy now more than ever.
Several American companies, including Anheuser-Bush, Wal-Mart, and General Motors, have committed to purchasing renewable energy and are looking to wind energy to help them meet their goals. As the price of wind energy continues to fall, as it has throughout the past decade, industrial and commercial energy consumers are starting to see the feasibility of procuring alternative energy.
Businesses are starting to realize that diversifying their energy mix is both profitable and appealing to a growing number of Americans. A number of companies are introducing new positions and departments that focus on sustainability and releasing corporate sustainability reports. 90 percent of CEOs have stated that sustainability is critical to the future of their company’s success.
This profitability and mass appeal have evolved motivation for Fortune 500 to move towards sustainable energy sources from strictly achieving carbon-neutrality goals to goals driven by the free market. Today, this trend of corporate dedication to sustainability has come to fruition as major companies have set goals to move to 100 percent renewable energy usage. For example, both Wal-Mart and General Motors have committed to powering their operations strictly using renewable energy by 2025. Recently, GM announced its southeast Michigan offices, plants, and facilities will run totally on solar and wind energy in a new deal with DTE Energy’s MIGreenPower program, and Wal-Mart and AT&T were the two largest purchasers of wind power purchase agreements in 2019. Along with companies who have made public commitments to sustainability goals, fourteen first-time buyers, including McDonald’s, Estee Lauder, and Baker Hughes, made wind purchases in 2019.
The chart below shows the increasing interest in corporate buyers of wind energy.
Source: AWEA, U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report
As demand for wind and other sustainable energy sources continues to grow among Fortune 500 companies, the effects of their commitment to diversifying their energy sources will increase the number of facilities necessary to create this energy, as well as, the number of jobs created by the industry and the demand for manufacturing the pieces needed to supply development. Already this trend has come to light as solar photovoltaic installers and wind turbine service technicians have become the fastest-growing jobs in the United States by a large margin. As Ohio boasts the largest number of wind turbine manufacturing facilities in the country, the growing demand will propel this industry into new heights, creating more jobs for an already present and skilled labor force. Should the state chose to further promote wind turbine and wind farm development, the pieces would be in place for Ohio to become a powerhouse in the alternative energy market.