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Data: BloombergNEF; Chart: Axios Visuals

Companies worldwide are buying more renewable power than ever, and now some of the biggest U.S. corporations say the Biden administration can help decarbonize the nation's power more quickly.

Why it matters: Corporate procurement of renewables — especially wind and solar — is becoming an important deployment driver as companies take advantage of lower prices and look to meet sustainability pledges.

Driving the news: New data this morning from the research firm BloombergNEF finds that companies secured a record 23.7 gigawatts of new renewables capacity last year despite the pandemic.

  • Most of the deals led to development of new renewables capacity that would not have otherwise been built, per BloombergNEF.
  • The analysis looks at power purchase agreements but excludes onsite developments, which would boost the tally to some extent.

By the numbers: Amazon was the most active company, announcing 35 deals totaling 5.1 gigawatts of capacity.

  • Others in the top five were semiconductor giant TSMC, oil major Total, Verizon, and Facebook.
  • The U.S. was again the largest market, with 11.9 GW worth of power purchase deals, but that was down from 14.1 GW a year earlier.

Separately, a big corporate coalition yesterday released a set of policy ideas that they say can "accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon power sector."

Under the umbrella of the 2-year-old Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance, three dozen companies called for a bunch of steps including...

  • Changes to wholesale power market designs that better integrate clean power.
  • New transmission planning and incentives.
  • Federal funding "specifically focused on later-stage demonstration and early deployment of clean energy innovations by the private sector."

Who they are: Companies signing the statement include giants like Google, GM, Facebook, PepsiCo, Amazon, McDonald's, and Microsoft.

Go deeper: What the biggest corporate energy buyers want from federal clean energy policy (Greentech Media)

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 27, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden to sign major climate orders, setting up clash with oil industry

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Biden will sign new executive actions today that provide the clearest signs yet of his climate plans — elevating the issue to a national security priority and kicking off an intense battle with the oil industry.

Driving the news: One move will freeze issuance of new oil-and-gas leases on public lands and waters "to the extent possible," per a White House summary.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

British national named in Colleyville synagogue standoff

A law enforcement vehicle sits near the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue on Jan. 16. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

British national Malik Faisal Akram took four people hostage at a Texas synagogue outside Fort Worth on Saturday, the FBI said in a statement.

State of play: Authorities had initially declined to release the name of the 44-year-old suspect or identify the hostages, all adults, though police chief Michael Miller confirmed that one of those held was Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, who leads the congregation.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Concerns grow over CDC's isolation guidelines — Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron — WHO recommends 2 new treatments — What "mild" really means when it comes to Omicron — Deaths are climbing as cases skyrocket.
  2. Vaccines: America's vaccination drive runs out of gas— Puerto Rico expands booster shot requirements— Supreme Court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for large employers.
  3. Politics: Vivek Murthy calls SCOTUS vaccine mandate block "a setback for public health" — Focus group says Biden weak on COVID response, strong on democracy
  4. Economy: America's labor shortage is bigger than the pandemic— — CDC COVID guidance for cruise ships to be optional starting Saturday — The cost of testing.
  5. States: West Virginia governor feeling "extremely unwell" after positive test — Youngkin ends mandates for masks in schools and COVID vaccinations for state workers — America struggles to keep schools open
  6. World: Beijing reports first local Omicron case weeks before Winter Olympics — Teachers in France stage mass walkout over COVID protocols.
  7. Variant tracker