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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.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
12 mins ago - Podcasts

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek does a podcast on the future of podcasts

Spotify on Wednesday reported significant ad revenue growth from its podcast business, as part of its quarterly earnings disclosure.

Take a listen: Company founder and CEO Daniel Ek appeared on the Axios Re:Cap podcast to discuss how the podcast business model is changing, why he's spending big on exclusive shows and his personal favorites in both podcasting and music.

Updated 52 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Bipartisan group reaches agreement on $1.2 trillion "hard" infrastructure bill

Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images.

After weeks of long nights and endless Zoom calls, a bipartisan group of senators finally reached a deal on "the major issues" in their $1.2 trillion "hard" infrastructure package, GOP senators involved in the talks announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: It could be days before the group finishes writing the bill, but the Senate can begin debating the legislation in earnest now that they have resolved the outstanding issues. The bill needs 60 votes to advance in the Senate.