Walmart on April 15 announced the company’s next step on the path to achieving its goal of being 100% supplied by renewable energy. The company committed to achieving the production or procurement of 7 billion kilowatt-hours of renewable energy globally every year by the end of 2020. That would mark a 600% increase over its 2010 levels. The Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer will also seek to reduce the energy intensity required to power the company's buildings during the same period by 20%.
Walmart expects its six-fold increase in utilizing renewable energy projects to be equal to eliminating the need for roughly two U.S. fossil fuel power plants. Based on external estimates of projected energy costs and other factors, the two new commitments are anticipated to generate more than $1 billion annually in energy savings once fully implemented. The company also expects to avoid 9 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 1.5 million cars off the road.
In the United States alone, Walmart plans to install solar power on at least 1,000 of its rooftops and facilities by 2020, an increase from just over 200 solar projects currently in operation or under development. According to the Solar Energy Industry Association, the company has more solar power capacity and number of systems than any other company in America. It has also been cited by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as America’s leading user of onsite renewables, using more onsite renewable power than any other company in the United States. In addition to onsite solar, the company will continue to develop projects in wind, fuel cells, and other technologies. It will also procure offsite renewable energy from utility-scale projects, such as large wind, micro-hydro, and geothermal projects. See the Walmart press release .