On Wednesday, General Motors announced that the company has been named the number one user of solar power in the automotive industry in the United States as decided by the Solar Energy Association this week.
Rhone Resch, CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, had this to say of the association’s analysis: “GM has set an example in renewable energy within its industry and beyond.” As far as the company’s standing overall in the United States, the Detroit automaker has achieved ranking in the top twenty companies. The Solar Energy Industries Association was able to analyze and rank companies according to their cumulative solar energy capacity, and GM has emerged as a leader in this area.
The numbers leading to GM’s success are impressive. The auto company’s consumption from renewable sources of energy totals 2.1 percent. Last year, the automaker promised a doubling of its global solar output to 60 megawatts over the next three years and also committed to increase its renewable energy usage to 125 megawatts by 2020.
GM Vice President Mike Robinson was enthusiastic about the progress the company has made in renewable energy. Robinson said, “Being listed among environmental leaders like Wal-Mart and IKEA reinforces our progress in reducing our energy use. We understand the environmental and business benefits of using renewable energy, and we look forward to building on it with our new commitments.”
Most consumers are not aware of GM’s strong commitment to renewable energy or the company’s progress toward its goal of being an industry leader in this area. In recent years, media reports have focused primarily on the automaker’s financial gains and losses, with heavy coverage of the aftermath of GM’s government funded bankruptcy.
GM has fared better than most industry and financial analysts expected, recovering sales and holding its own in a highly competitive market. They currently have six large solar installations in Ohio, Maryland, California and Michigan. GM also maintains eight solar electric charging canopies at its U.S. facilities and plans to build five additional charging stations by 2013.