For those in the solar industry, the news that clean energy attracts businesses to states may be a “water is still wet, the Pope is still Catholic” kind of story.
When the information comes from organizations outside the industry, however, it helps push the story into more mainstream, which is why a new report by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) is so important.
The Corporate Clean Energy Procurement Index: State Leadership & Rankings, written by Clean Edge on behalf of RILA and ITI, confirms what the Solar Energy Industries Association has said for years in its Solar Means Business reports: Businesses, small and large, covet clean-energy choice. Among retailers and technology companies renewable energy deployment is expected to increase to 60 GW by 2025.
Most fascinating about the new report is the 50-state ranking, which is based on how easy it is for businesses to get the renewable energy they want. While California’s and New Jersey’s leadership comes as no surprise, three other top states – Iowa, Illinois and Texas – show that renewable energy is spreading to states beyond states with traditionally high insolation rates.
No one in the solar industry will be surprised by the report’s finding that clean-energy policy varies widely at the state level, but the report recommends deregulation – to give businesses choices in electricity procurement, arguing that the lack of competition with traditional utilities keeps electricity prices artificially high.
“Retailers are at the forefront of the growing trend to procure clean energy to power their operations,” said Adam Siegel, Senior Vice President, Research, Innovation & Sustainability at RILA. “We urge state governments to look hard at steps they can take to promote customer choice for renewable energy so that they can open the doors to new investments.”