Last week, Minneapolis-St. Paul signaled its intention to join the race to entice Amazon to locate its new headquarters in the Twin Cities. While local officials pull together a package they hope will win the day, it’s worth considering how our friendly neighbors to the south have managed to persuade so many companies to set up shop in Iowa. Iowa, it turns out, can offer one thing more and more major corporations want: easy access to low-cost, renewable energy.
For decades, customers regarded electricity as a commodity, and electric utilities as its regional monopoly providers. Fast forward to today, and the landscape is undergoing a tectonic shift.
Companies such as Apple, IKEA and MGM Resorts have made it publicly known that they are now adopting new energy strategies as a core component of their business operations. Others, such as 3M, Dow Chemical and General Motors, have signed renewable PPAs to attain sustainability and/or cost-efficiency goals. Each company’s approach to energy may be unique, but the underlying trend is that the largest and most influential companies are signaling to the marketplace that the days of electricity as an undifferentiated commodity are over. Read more.
Contracts to sell electricity directly to corporate users are among the key demand drivers for wind and solar power, while the influence of state mandates wanes, according to a report Friday by Moody’s Investors Service. Multiple factors are spurring corporate power deals, especially from companies that have set their own sustainability goals. And the shift comes as costs continue to fall. Continue reading here.
Wall Street titan changes tone on climate, E&E News
The deep-pocketed investment firm BlackRock Inc. [yesterday] announced a series of steps to address the financial risks of climate change, decisions that could send shock waves throughout the private sector. Studying the disclosure of climate change risks, including physical risks like rising waters and government policies to cap greenhouse gas emissions, will be one of BlackRock’s top priorities for 2017, the firm said.
WEBINAR A recording of The Pursuit of Sustainability will be available on March 21, 2017. Presented by the Stanford School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences. More information is available here.