Walmart: Driving solar in California

By Walmart Green Room

What country ranks No. 1 in the world in solar? The U.S.? Japan?

The No. 1 country is actually Germany, followed by the solar-loving country of Spain. Japan is next, followed by the United States.

Solar is important to a future powered by renewable resources, one that reduces greenhouse gases and our dependence on oil and other nonrenewable fossil fuels.

The sun is an incredible source of clean energy, and California has become an important state for us to expand solar on our buildings and help make the United States a solar powerhouse. Last year, we promised to expand our solar portfolio to more than 75 percent of our California stores.

Today, we have reached the milestone of 100 stores.

We now have 100 Sam’s Club locations and Walmart stores in California using rooftop solar panels (link to press release when posted),which have also created more than 3,000 contract construction jobs in the state.

The California Air Resources Board encourages other businesses to do the same and notes that buildings “represent the second largest source of California’s greenhouse emissions.”

For a good primer on the history of solar power and just how solar works, you can read this post by Green Building Elements. One interesting fact from the piece: Solar-power installation increased 83 percent in 2009.

We expect our California solar installations to:

  • Generate up to 70 million kilowatt hours of clean, renewable energy per year, which is the equivalent of powering more than 5,400 homes, according to the EPA calculator;
  • Avoid producing more than 21,700 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, which is the equivalent of taking approximately 4,100 cars off the road; and
  • Provide 10 to 30 percent of each facility’s total electric needs.

As a company, we continue to work toward our goal of being supplied 100 percent by renewable energy.

So tell us, What role do you feel solar will play globally?

This content was originally published on Walmart's Green Room blog.