To all our stakeholders
I believe we are at an inflection point in the history of our company, our industry and our global economy.
Like so many of you, I have believed in the future of renewable energy for a very long time. Wind and solar energy have made economic sense for customers in many parts of the country for years. As technology has improved and costs have come down, even more customers across the country have realized the benefits of clean energy. Today, we can see a path to a completely emissions-free power sector built upon the combination of low-cost renewables with various forms of energy storage.
The most mature of these new technologies is battery storage. Over the past several years, our company has paired battery storage with wind and solar projects in a variety of configurations to deliver additional value to customers and to give grid operators more options to maintain reliability. The capability to store renewable energy at utility scale for even a few hours has already greatly improved the economics of wind and solar projects to meet customer demand for renewable energy. We expect that battery storage alone, combined with renewables, could enable a power sector that is up to 85% emissions-free.
Short-term energy storage applications are proven winners for customers and the environment, and long-term energy storage solutions have even more promise. In just the past year, NextEra Energy has launched several pilot projects to prove out the feasibility of using renewable energy, water and electrolysis to produce green hydrogen for several applications. We will learn how green hydrogen can best be produced and stored. We will learn how green hydrogen can replace some of the fuel powering our combined-cycle gas turbines as well as become a reliable feedstock for a variety of industrial uses. We will learn how fuel cells powered by green hydrogen can decarbonize vehicle fleets. We will bring into focus whether these and other long-term energy storage solutions can one day deliver a power sector that is 100% emissions-free, decarbonize large segments of the transportation and industrial sectors and represent a bold step forward as we all work together to confront climate change.
Trillions of dollars of additional investment in wind and solar energy will be necessary to pair with the various energy storage solutions that will prove out to be the best value for customers. We believe that this massive capital investment opportunity could be terrific for customers, terrific for shareholders, terrific for the environment and terrific for the energy security of every nation. We believe that NextEra Energy is best positioned to build out the infrastructure required to make this vision a reality because we have a proven strategy that drives our team every day and has delivered value to all our stakeholders over a very long period of time.
Our strategy begins with innovation. At both Florida Power & Light Company and NextEra Energy Resources, we have pioneered several technologies that have already transformed our industry. We are the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun. We were among the first to deploy smart grid technology and to harden our grid in Florida to improve everyday reliability, as well as resiliency in severe weather. We were also among the first to invest in data analytics to understand our own infrastructure even better, as well as give our customers new tools to manage their energy usage. We have a team that embraces the disruptive forces reshaping our industry and seeks out new ways to disrupt our own company and make it even better.
Our strategy also includes a strong focus on cost and customer value. I have said for many years that NextEra Energy has proven that a company can be clean and low cost at the same time. That focus on cost has never been more important for our low-income customers and for those who have suffered economic hardship as a result of the pandemic. We know that all our investments must deliver clear benefits to our customers, who not only want their energy to be clean but also reliable and affordable.
Many other elements of our strategy are discussed throughout this report. Our strategy includes operational excellence, beginning with safety. It includes a consistently lower emissions rate than our industry peers and a decades-long commitment to protecting the environment. It includes financial discipline and a strong balance sheet. It includes making the right capital investments and executing capital projects on time and on budget. It includes a culture of continuous improvement and a passion to succeed in any competitive environment. It includes a strong focus on governance and ethics. And it includes a continued commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion.
Keeping all our commitments is the imperative of the most talented team in our industry. Our team faced numerous unprecedented challenges over the last year and rose to every single one of them: a global pandemic, economic dislocations, injustice and social unrest, political uncertainty and the Atlantic basin’s most active hurricane season on record. Among our team of 15,000 professionals, many experienced one or more of these challenges in a deeply personal way. Yet all kept their focus on what we needed to do each day to keep the lights on for those we are so proud and grateful to serve.
Thank you for your interest in learning more about NextEra Energy and all our environmental, social and governance (ESG) accomplishments and commitments.
Chairman & CEO