Will Apple’s Massive Buy Grow Corporate Solar?

According to CEO Tim Cook, Apple’s “biggest, boldest and most ambitious project ever” is not the iWatch or the iCar, but a power-purchase agreement with First Solar worth a scorching $850 million. But is it a “market-making type of transaction,” as SunPower CEO Tom Werner predicted, shortly after the blockbuster deal was announced? Or is it simply more of the same investment in solar that has characterized corporate interest in renewable energy for years, which for all its forward-looking statements is still disproportionately small in the realm of solar commitments compared to the funding spent on increasing emissions?

“Corporate interest in solar and wind was already hot,” explained CleanTechnica director Zachary Shahan. “IKEA, Google, Facebook and many others have been putting a ton of money into clean energy projects in the past few years. I think most everyone knows that it’s about the financial rewards now, not so much about corporate solar responsibility.”