ving away from oil and natural gas is the latest fad captivating some of America's biggest companies. From Walmart to General Motors, the titans of business are becoming some of the biggest buyers of renewable energy, such as wind and solar power. But the shift isn't all about becoming better stewards of the environment.
CEOs are learning that going green is a good way to control costs, says Reuters correspondent Nichola Groom.>> The cost of wind and solar power has come down dramatically over the last few years, so buying power from a wind farm or a solar energy facility is actually cost competitive with buying fossil fuel generated power from the grid.
>> Wind power cost have plunged 66% since 2009, while the cost to install solar has declined 70% since 2010. For big companies, that's adding up to the millions of dollars in savings. GM, which plans to get all of its power from clean energy by 2050, says it's saving $5 million a year worldwide using renewables.
Savings like that are hard to ignore. This year alone, Home Depot, T-Mobile USA, Goldman Sachs and General Mills each announced major deals to buy wind power, joining nearly 100 companies that have tapped into renewable power since 2014. The sheer size of these companies and the money they can spend makes it easier to strike deals with wind or solar power suppliers compared to small or mid sized companies.
>> Large US companies have the significant power needs that are capable of buying all of the output of say, an entire wind farm or an entire solar energy facility. In addition, there are some lucrative federal tax credits that help drive down the price of that power to make it increasingly cheap.
>> Those tax credits are up for renewal in 2020. Any attempt by President Trump to get rid of them will likely face a tough fight from lawmakers in his own party from wind and solar important states like Texas, Oklahoma, and Iowa. But corporations aren't taking any chances and are rushing to seal renewable energy deals while the tax credits are still hot.