Conclusion

We are at a pivotal point in energy history. With the climate crisis accelerating, there’s an imperative to transition away from traditional, dirty energy sources as quickly as possible. The corporate procurement of 10 or 20 GW of solar or wind per year is insufficient when we need 50 or 100 GW added annually by the private sector to reach our climate goals. It’s a transition that will take time we don’t have, so we must get it right, and get it right as quickly as possible. Decisions made today will have ramifications for decades. While the Biden administration has set the scene for expanding renewable energy, improving the grid, building resilience and preparing for a future where EVs will dominate, the real takeaway of this report is that corporations have the potential to lead our clean energy future, whether they know it or not. Corporations drive almost 60 percent of electricity demand, and they have the know-how to make decisions about their supply. While the details are complex, the decisions should not be. At their heart, they are very simple: we are in the decade that matters, the decade where energy choices have a direct bearing on the climate crisis. Every energy decision-maker has the ability—and perhaps the responsibility—to advocate for decisions that pay planetary dividends. The path forward is clear, but the timeline isn’t. The federal government and many state governments support this clean energy transition. But it is the U.S. commercial and industrial sectors that consume the lion’s share of electricity. Energy decision-makers may look to the federal government to take the lead on the global stage, but they also need to flex their own powerful muscles to drive the energy transition and assume more of a leadership role. It falls to America’s energy decision-makers to accelerate the adoption of clean energy and begin to close the critical gap between what’s being done and what has to be done if we are to avert the worst of the climate crisis. The key takeaways of the Energy Report 2021 reveal the major gains that corporate renewables procurement has made in the U.S. but also the serious challenges that lie ahead. The question remains: what do corporations need to do to get from where we are to where we need to be in order to meet the ambitious net-zero carbon goals over the next decade the will prove crucial in the fight against climate change?

The answer: they need to do more. Much more.

The business community must collaborate in good faith and maintain an unwavering commitment to meet the grand planetary challenges we face during the Decade that Matters.