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Visualizing corporate renewables contracted in the US and around the world


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Visualizing corporate renewables contracted in the US and around the world

Nearly 78% of tracked renewable energy contracted by U.S. corporations is situated in the U.S., but procurement in the rest of the world — particularly in India and Europe — is rising fast. Compared against the U.S., capacity inventoried across 15 non-U.S. markets in our 2023 corporate renewables report showed larger increases year over year.

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U.S.-based renewable energy dominates tracked capacity contracted by U.S. corporations, but new hubs are emerging. With its inventoried tally up more than thirtyfold year over year, India, in particular, is drawing attention.

In the U.S., corporate off-takers favor U.S. states that allow them to contract directly with generators. While solutions for commercial and industrial clean-energy procurement are also available in more tightly regulated markets, the so-called green tariffs — though garnering a nonnegligible number of corporate contracts — remain a small subset of the total.

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U.S.-headquartered corporate off-takers have accumulated an aggregate utility-scale renewable energy portfolio of more than 61 GW in-country, up more than 38% since our March 2022 update. The growth has been a boon to major players across the U.S. solar and wind space, including NextEra Energy Inc., Invenergy LLC and Dominion Energy Inc. Online retailer and cloud provider Inc. alone has contracted more than 13 GW of U.S.-based renewable energy capacity.

Solar, for years second fiddle to wind, is solidifying its lead. Overall, corporate-tied U.S. solar capacity now tops 35 GW, accounting for 57% of the U.S.-based corporate-tied renewable energy capacity tracked by S&P Global Commodity Insights. This is up almost 5 percentage points in the 2022-2023 corporate renewable update interval.

Multiple parameters suggest sustained solar momentum. Less costly and easier to develop, solar capacity in the U.S. is growing at a fast clip. At 231 GW, the current utility-scale solar pipeline outpaces planned wind by 72%. The rise of battery energy storage also factors in. The U.S. has more than 70 GW of battery energy storage in planning, of which about 57% is to be co-located. More than 92% of those hybrid systems are to be paired with solar projects — an element that should augment solar's value proposition for corporate procurement.

Per our 2023 inventory, U.S. corporations have contracted renewable energy capacity across at least 40 U.S. states. With about a third of the U.S. total, Texas is the undisputed leader. Based on procuring renewable projects' historical and programmed online years, the top 10 U.S. states by renewable energy contracted by U.S. corporations account for more than 70% of the total, with the Lone Star state ranking first from online year 2018 through online year 2027. See our PowerPoint for the evolution of the state ranking.

Five of those 10 states have deregulated markets: Texas, Ohio, Illinois, Virginia and Michigan. At the national level, deregulated markets account for 60% of the total tracked in our corporate renewables database. For the deals inventoried between our 2022 and 2023 updates, the metric comes in at 68%. Deregulated markets facilitate procuring electricity directly from generating assets — a plus to ensure clean energy sourcing for corporate off-takers.

In vertically integrated regulated markets, where utilities control production and distribution, this is not an option. In those states, however, workarounds to meet corporate green energy demand often are available — notably utility-sponsored renewable procurement programs, or so-called green tariffs. More than 13 GW of the corporate-tied renewable capacity tracked by S&P Global Commodity Insights is contracted via green tariffs.

Looking outside the U.S. borders, large U.S.-based conglomerates such as Google (Alphabet Inc.), Microsoft Corp., Alcoa Corp. and Meta Platforms Inc. have contracted more than 11 GW of renewable energy in Europe, where tracked capacity nearly doubled between our 2022 and 2023 updates. In the region, contracted capacity is heavily concentrated across countries bordering the North Sea and the Baltic, making wind the preferred technology, at about two-thirds of the 11 GW total. Note that this analysis revolves around a broad geography longitudinally ranging from Ireland to Finland, not specific economic areas such as the EU or other legal European entities.

The largest increase in inventoried renewable energy capacity contracted by U.S.-headquartered corporations comes from India, with 1,000 MW added year over year. India, which in 2022 ranked 18th in contracted green energy outside the U.S., now occupies the number five spot and stands to gain further as large U.S. corporations continue to diversify their manufacturing locations.

For wholesale prices and supply and demand projections, see the S&P Global Market Intelligence Power Forecast. 

Regulatory Research Associates is a group within S&P Global Commodity Insights.

S&P Global Commodity Insights produces content for distribution on S&P Capital IQ Pro.

Adam Wilson contributed to this article.

This article was published by S&P Global Market Intelligence and not by S&P Global Ratings, which is a separately managed division of S&P Global.

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