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Renewable Energy

Reducing carbon emissions

Renewable Energy

Just as GM has the scale to promote widespread adoption of EVs, we also have the scale to help bring about a transition to renewable power sources across the U.S. We are the 10th-largest off-taker of renewable energy in the world, and the second-largest off-taker in the manufacturing sector. Reducing our own operational footprint and setting up the grid for a future in which EVs can charge using renewable power is an essential part of our zero emissions vision.

In 2016, GM committed to sourcing 100% of our global electricity demand from renewable sources by 2050. Four years later, we have renewable energy contracts that will put our capacity in excess of 60% when projects come on line in the next three years. In early 2021, in response to the need to accelerate efforts to address climate change, we pulled forward our 100% global renewable energy commitment to 2035 with interim goals of achieving 100% of U.S. sites by 2030. We are making significant progress toward this target through physical and virtual power purchase agreements (PPAs) and on-site renewable energy projects, such as solar arrays and landfill gas projects.

Renewable Energy

Energy Consumption by Source
 

Renewable Energy as a Percentage
of Global Electricity Use

Our commitment to renewable energy use began more than two decades ago and will culminate by 2035 when our goal is to source 100% renewable energy to meet all our electricity needs.

In the second quarter of 2020, we executed our largest green tariff solar project to date in Michigan through a green tariff agreement, making all GM sites in Southeast Michigan served by DTE on renewable power, including our global headquarters in Detroit and Global Technical Center in Warren, Michigan. We also announced a new solar PPA with CMS Enterprises (a subsidiary of CMS Energy Corporation). The deal will power Wentzville Assembly, Lansing Grand River Assembly and Lansing Delta Township Assembly. The PPA is unique in that the solar panels will come from Ohio-based First Solar, the only U.S.-headquartered company among the world’s nine largest solar manufacturers. First Solar is also a leader in offering global recycling services for its PV modules, creating a circular model.

With this agreement, GM will be more than 60% of the way toward our 2035 goal. Beyond power, GM’s green tariffs and PPAs have resulted in approximately $2 billion worth of investments in the green energy sector. This is also the first of GM's agreement to include the option for future energy storage.

Other renewable projects in the works include Spring Hill Manufacturing, our largest facility in North America, which is expected to be powered by 100% solar energy. This will be made possible through a green tariff agreement with the Tennessee Valley Authority, which is expected to supply up to 100 megawatts of solar energy per year. The energy will be supplied by a solar farm in Lowndes County, Mississippi, currently under development by Origis Energy (subject to environmental review). The commitment is made possible through the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Green Invest program, which is the federal electric utility’s green tariff solution.

GM continuously monitors our performance using a new renewable energy dashboard, which allows us to track our companywide renewable use percentages in real time. We also rely on third-party partners to help us understand the renewable energy market and ensure we are buying electricity cost-effectively.

GM is a member of RE100, a global collaborative initiative backed by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP. RE100 brings together companies that have made commitments to use 100% renewable energy in their operations to share best practices and demonstrate the increased demand for clean power. GM is one of only three automakers, and the only one in North America, that has made the RE100 pledge.

In recognition of our efforts, GM received the 2020 Green Power Leadership Award in the Excellence in Green Power Use category from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The awards recognize companies for their commitment and contribution to helping advance the development of the nation’s voluntary green power market.

Energy Consumption by Source
Total 45,407,476 GJ
Fuel Consumption from Non-Renewable Sources
(including heating)
21,637,064
Electricity Consumption
(including cooling)
21,749,755
Steam Consumption 1,113,784
Fuel Consumption from Renewable Sources
(including heating)
860,141
Renewable Energy as a Percentage of Global Electricity Use
2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2035 Goal
3% 7% 9% 22% 23% 100%

Our Renewable Energy (RE) Journey

1995

Toledo, Ohio

First RE investment—2.5 MW of landfill gas

2005

Mexico

First RE project—17 MW of hydroelectric

2008

Zaragoza, Spain

The largest rooftop installation in the world at that time—11.7 MW of solar

2010

Ohio, Michigan and China

First workplace installations of solar charging for electric vehicles—20 KW each

2014

Orion, Michigan

First on-site generation of electricity via landfill gas—8 MW

Mexico and Joinville, Brazil

First RE wind project and first solar installation in South America—34 MW and 340 KW, respectively

2015

Changwon, Korea

First RE project in Asia—11.5 MW

2016

Shanghai, China

First RE project in China—24 MW

2017

St. Catherines, Ontario

Largest RE project to date in Canada and first to use waste heat for cogeneration—6.4 MW

Ohio and Indiana

All operations achieve 100% RE—200 MW

2018

Flint, Michigan

First green tariff project—40 MW

2020

Michigan

500,000 MW solar energy investment in DTE MIGreenPower program.

Arkansas

180 MW solar power purchase agreement puts GM over 1 GW of RE use.

2022

Springhill, Tennessee

Expected completion of green tariff project, which will push us to 50% RE use in the U.S.—100 MW

2030

United States

Expected 100% electricity sourced from RE

2035

Global

Expected 100% electricity sourced from RE