There’s a clear connection between clean energy and where employers want to be. At least if you take into account the opinions of some of the leading and growing employment sectors in the US—retail and information technology.
Retail and tech companies across the US want to use 60 gigawatts of clean energy by 2025, according to the just published Corporate Clean Energy Procurement Index: State Leadership & Rankings, written by Clean Edge on behalf of Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI). These are companies ranging from Facebook and Google to Walmart and Target—a vast range of Fortune 500 companies that want to locate operations where clean energy production reduces energy pricing volatility from fossil fuels and where reduces pollution.
"Retailers are at the forefront of the growing trend to procure clean energy to power their operations; this index will help them focus on the states that are conducive to doing business. 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," said Adam Siegel, Senior Vice President, Research, Innovation & Sustainability at RILA.
ITI echoed that sentiment. “The technology industry is increasingly transitioning to clean energy to meet customer demands, consumer expectations and our own strong sustainability commitments,” said Rick Goss, Senior Vice President for Environment and Sustainability for ITI. In fact, some of its members, like Amazon or Apple have helped lead deployment of renewable energy in states like North Carolina and Virginia.
“Clean and renewable energy sources are good for the environment, and they provide energy reliability and price stability benefits that are good for business. States interested in growing their tech sector should embrace this trend,” Goss asserted.
The new study, for the first time, ranks all the states based on how easy they make it for corporations to purchase renewable energy for their operations. The leader in the first index might surprise. It is Iowa.
"Iowa is proud to be the top-ranked state for renewable energy procurement by the nation's retail and technology industries," said Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds. The state has capitalized on its wind resources in recent years. “Access to low-cost renewable energy is a critical part of our economic development strategy. These job-creating businesses cite our access to low-cost renewable energy as a major reason for locating in Iowa. In fact, Iowa's newly released state Energy Plan underscores Iowa's leadership in renewable energy and the significant role it plays in our economy. Every Iowa wind turbine means income for farmers, revenue for counties and jobs for Iowa families."
The report also shows what barriers companies are facing in certain states as they work to incorporate more renewable energy. It identified, in particular, over-regulation and artificially high taxes that make it hard for renewable energy to compete while protecting legacy fossil fuel electricity production. Certain arrangements can help multiple states and companies.Tweet