Corporate investment in renewable energy is swelling as companies move to please knowledgeable consumers and take advantage of vanishing tax breaks.
An array of corporations—including Budweiser, Gap Inc., and MGM Resort International—have invested in wind and solar energy recently, pushing spending above $16 billion last year, a 13% growth from the year prior, The Wall Street Journal reports. This growth is expected to double in 2019.
With high-profile reports warning of the dangers of climate change should humans not adapt, more people are becoming aware of how their actions affect the globe. A December poll showed 58% of U.S. voters believe scientists are right, and climate change is indeed man-made.
The consumers are asking for change: the WSJ reports more hotel clients in Las Vegas are demanding venues that limit greenhouse gas emissions, food waste, and other problematic expenditures. The change led MGM to look for a green investment, eventually finding a solar farm that could power nearly all of the company’s 13 local casinos for less than $30 a megawatt hour—an offer $20 to $140 less than that of most new fossil-fuel facilities in developed nations.
“It is good business to be green,” Cindy Ortega, MGM Resort International’s chief sustainability officer, told the WSJ. “That’s a real shift in thinking.”
Renewable energy is likely to remain affordable with new technology developments, but tax breaks established by Congress in 2015 help as well. The program for wind tax credits is going to be phased out by 2023 if not renewed, however, meaning corporations have more reason to jump on board now.