Last October, the global energy industry turned upside down when the market capitalization of NextEra, the utility company that is the world’s largest generator of wind and solar power, briefly eclipsed that of oil giant ExxonMobil. The moment made NextEra a clear proof point for renewable-energy advocates’ longtime stance: going green is profitable. “We expect the disruptive nature of renewables to be terrific for customers, terrific for the environment and terrific for shareholders,” CEO James Robo told investors this year. Stock in NextEra rose more than 25% in 2020 after a decade of beating the market. The company, which gets 35% of its electricity from wind and solar, is expected to spend tens of billions more on renewable energy by 2022.
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