Top 10 U.S. corporate renewable energy buyers of 2020


Amazon was the No. 1 U.S. corporate buyer of renewable energy in 2020, procuring more than 3.16 GW. Utility-scale solar power also was the most sought-after renewable resource among the country’s major corporations.

That’s according to the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), a member-based organization that represents and advocates on behalf of many of the nation’s largest corporate energy purchasers.

In its second-annual Deal Tracker Top 10 report, REBA found that U.S. corporations once again showcased their resolve and commitment to renewable energy with a record-breaking 10.6 GW of contracted capacity.

REBA CEO Miranda Ballentine said, “It is remarkable that the business community announced nearly 100 new deals while managing the impacts of a global pandemic.”

REBA’s group members accounted for 97% of the procurements tracked in 2020. Of the 98 deals reflected in the full report, 72% were for utility-scale solar projects.

Image: Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance

Kara Hurst, vice president of sustainability at Amazon, said the company is making “big investments in wind and solar energy because it can help to quickly decarbonize our business operations.”

Amazon is on a path to run on 100% renewable energy by 2025, five years ahead of its original target of 2030. Building on Amazon’s procurements last year, the company has continued making solar deals in 2021.

“We believe all companies have a role to play in protecting the planet,” said Hurst. “To inspire collaboration, we co-founded The Climate Pledge–with signatories committing to reaching net-zero carbon by 2040, 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement.”

REBA said the companies in its report–half of which represent first-time energy buyers accounting for 25% of total announced volume–navigated market barriers through innovative contracting structures and collaboration with key stakeholders, including utilities, energy transaction parties, local communities, and industry leaders.

Although the information technology (IT) sector continued to represent the highest procurement by volume, the industrials and materials market was the top sector for new buyers, which REBA said indicates the importance of decarbonization of industrial supply chains.

According to REBA, 2020 was also the first year that multiple U.S. corporate energy buyers announced procurements including battery storage, aligning with broader industry trends as storage technology becomes more accessible.

Looking ahead, REBA said significant potential remains to grow the U.S. renewables market and economy through key federal policy priorities.

In January, the group helped lead more than 30 corporations–including Amazon, McDonalds, Pepsi Co., Walmart, and Facebook–to call on the Biden administration to help pave the way for a zero-carbon U.S. power sector.

The full REBA Deal Tracker is available for download here.

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