corporate renewable energy goals

The Status of Corporate Renewable Energy Goals in 2024

Jane Marsh - March 6, 2020

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Driven by a need for low-cost and minimally invasive energy solutions, renewable energy saw a considerable resurgence in the last several years, especially from the Inflation Reduction Act and related legislation.

According to the National Energy Regulatory Commission, it surpassed traditional coal, generating most of the electric power in the U.S. More specifically, wind and solar combined were responsible for 14% of the total renewable energy generated in the States. The question is, how long will this continue? What are we looking at in terms of future growth for corporate renewable energy goals?

The Renewable Energy Outlook for 2024

As more and more states approve renewable-energy-based legislation and head-up investments, new energy solutions will appear as a result. Distributed or crowdsourced energy is quickly becoming the new norm, as homeowners equip their dwellings with rooftop solar panels, and battery backups, thus creating local microgrids.

What’s happening in the corporate world, however? The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects these changes:

  • California will produce 26% of utility-scale solar.
  • Some of the largest solar farms are and will be in Texas, including the 275 MW Noble plant.
  • Coal declined to 17% generation from 20% by the end of 2023.

In other words, renewable energy is becoming more prevalent, while traditional fuel-based energy solutions are seeing a considerable decrease in usage. The reasons for why this is happening, however, are likely not what you would expect.

Part of the outlook for 2024 is powered by market trends, which are all boosted by regulatory boons. The first is reshoring supply chains. Offshore factories are not only volatile reliably speaking, but they are also more expensive to support. Transporting materials is not the most eco-friendly when the goal of renewable energy is to reduce carbon footprints. Additionally, renewable tech will become more resilient to natural disasters like wildfires and hail. The climate crisis is making severe weather even worse, and standards and quality control will be stricter moving forward.

Public Policy Support and Corporate Renewable Energy Goals

In the past, several tax incentives have helped encourage the growth of wind and solar energy. For instance, the Production Tax Credit (PTC) and Investment Tax Credit (ITC) both incentivized the implementation of new energy solutions from the Inflation Reduction Act.

All that aside, the current administration has done a lot of damage to the climate change movement, which affects renewable energy. Trump has doubled-down on support for coal, especially after pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord. After the Biden-Harris Administration re-entered it, it demonstrated a volatile era for U.S. renewable energy.

U.S. tariff policies are planning to be restored for solar tech. Panel costs are declining, in general, which means imported panel costs are still seeing a slight decrease despite policy changes.

Yet almost none of these negative trends appear to be affecting the growth of wind and solar energy. Why?

Resilience, Innovation and Competition Are Driving Growth

One of the major influences on renewable energy growth is the current state of the energy grid. Grid resiliency is a huge problem, as many regions are experiencing widespread outages. Issues like severe weather, natural disasters and even high demand put a considerable strain on the current power solutions. Wildfires have also been rampant throughout the year, with some even directly caused by faulty electrical equipment.

Renewable energy is an excellent solution for many of these problems because, in the face of natural disasters, it can often remain on and fully functioning. Both wind and solar systems — provided they are not damaged — will continue generating energy even after the grid goes down. With a battery backup in place, homeowners and businesses can continue to operate as usual for quite some time.

Competition is also heating up between traditional energy and renewable sources. Not only are they clean, but they are also incredibly cost-effective. The buy-in for renewable energy might be a little higher because installing the appropriate equipment can be pricey, but it more than pays for itself in the end. All the while, traditional energy costs continue to climb, making it much more necessary to seek out cheaper alternatives, especially for businesses looking to maximize profits and reduce expenditures.

Furthermore, the rampant use of modern technology is driving the need for low-cost energy solutions more than ever before. IoT and smart data-oriented technologies require constant energy to thrive. That’s not even including the network support they need to transmit and collate data. The rise of the smart city is also imminent. The technologies at the forefront of these programs all need a reliable energy source to thrive. This means low-cost alternatives are immediately added to the table.

Corporate Renewable Energy Goals Are Growing

At the end of 2023, Pattern Energy catalyzed the largest solar project in U.S. history, costing $11 billion. It will provide electricity to thousands of homes over 550 miles of solar modules. It is a revolutionary project that allows the U.S. to expand the scope of solar installation and discourse, such as permitting and approval processes regarding building on Native lands.

All of it is accelerating the need for larger, utility-scale renewable energy solutions. That’s precisely why many corporations are starting to take advantage. Walmart, for example, signed-on to 36 solar community projects in Minnesota in 2019, all of them headed by United States Solar Corp. Starbucks also announced a collaboration with a solar provider — LevelTen Energy — to utilize wind and solar energy across 3,000 of its retail locations.

In 2024, even more companies are engaging in renewable energy plans. Apple and Nike are a few of the major contenders. They are looking in their procurement models, expanding what corporations are responsible for instead of exclusively Scope 1 emissions.

Other corporate goals reveal how much novel technologies are influencing the landscape, with artificial intelligence at the center of conversations. Though there are concerns about security and hallucinations, the data collection capabilities are invaluable for optimizing. For example, smart meters connected to the grid could become familiar with usage patterns and distribute resources based on peaks and microanalytics gathered from specific populations. Combining this with the Internet of Things is a match made in heaven for getting the most out of intermittent energy harvesting.

The takeaway here is that large companies are starting to take notice of renewable energy’s many benefits, or really the entire business world. That alone will encourage widespread adoption, which is only exacerbated by many of the other factors evident in today’s landscape.

The Future of Renewables

The bigger the movement and the higher the demand for corporate renewable energy goals, the more renewable energy providers take notice and move toward large-scale operations. More specifically, utility-scale solar and wind solutions will continue to see a rise in demand moving forward, and it may even surpass traditional power soon.

This post was updated April 18, 2024, in order to provide more current information.

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About the author

Jane Marsh

Starting from an early age, Jane Marsh loved all animals and became a budding environmentalist. Now, Jane works as the Editor-in-Chief of where she covers topics related to climate policy, renewable energy, the food industry, and more.