Apparently, corporate America is a bit more socially responsible than you might think. Or they’re willing to spend copious amounts of cash to convey that impression.
According to a new report from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), American companies are installing record levels of solar power, accounting for 14% of all installed solar capacity in the United States.
…which is interesting news, to say the least.
Overall, solar power’s in a weird place right now. While it’s growing exponentially around the globe, it’s taken a hit lately in the U.S.
I mention in the December issue that, in 1Q 2022, the installed solar capacity was 3.9 GWdc, a 24% decrease from Q1 2021 and a 52% decrease from Q4 2021.
On the other hand, during that same period, solar represented 50% of all new electricity-generating capacity added to the US grid. And around the globe, solar’s expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.2% from 2021 to 2030.
With regards to corporate America, and through June, companies have installed 19 GW of on-site and off-site solar capacity (double the 9.4 GW installed through 2019).
Off-site solar is especially big, representing 55% of all new corporate solar acquisitions.
“About half of all corporate solar has been installed in the last two and half years,” says SEIA president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper. “Solar Means Business highlights the incredible flexibility of solar, whether it’s installed on a warehouse roof, on a carport or at an off-site facility…”
The report also named behemoths Meta, Amazon, Apple, Walmart, and Microsoft as the biggest corporate solar devotees, and one gets the distinct impression that, for them, it’s as much a PR coup as a green one.
“We are proud of the work we have done to add new solar energy to the grid, bringing additional investment to rural areas and helping support the transition to renewables,” said Urvi Parekh, Head of Renewable Energy at Meta.
Then again, I suppose it’s a net win for the environment, whatever the corporate motivations are, as long as it results in boosted solar capacity.