Adapt to Trends or Collapse with Coal
Coal continues to plummet while renewable trends soar. Despite efforts to bailout coal, Vistra Energy, parent company to TXU Energy and Luminant, shut down 4,200 MW of coal-fire capacity this year. And it's no wonder, with more and more big businesses turning to wind and solar. Google and Apple have led the way but non-tech companies like Target, Starbucks, Partners HealthCare, General Motors, Kimberly Clark, General Mills and Anheuser-Busch are prioritizing environmental sustainability despite the Paris accord withdrawal.
Marketing Manager at the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Business Renewable Center, Kevin Haley, comments, “the pace of growth in 2018 so far certainly suggests that there will not be a significant reduction in adoption rates of renewables by corporate buyers.” From 2008 to 2013 only four companies signed renewable energy deals. Since then 51 more companies have made the switch to reach the RE100 or the 100 percent renewables commitment. The Business Renewable Center reports renewable energy deals in 2018 will surpass the 2.78 GW worth of power in 2017’s publicly announced deals.
Vistra Energy will not be left in the dark. The company has invested in a 180 MW solar plant in Texas and is looking into battery power as well. CEO, Curtis Morgan states, "When you combine batteries with the intermittent nature of renewables, you can create a more stable electric product.” Vistra Energy has a market cap of $9.4 billion and serves 3 million retail customers. As of Monday, the company shares were up from $16 last year to $21. Coal’s decline doesn't have to be fatal but it will require companies to adapt.
“Adapt or perish…” H.G. Wells