Utilities aren't known for pangs of conscience. But last September, PG&E chief Peter Darbee boldly and publicly resigned from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over the business council's opposition to global-warming legislation. "An intellectually honest argument over the best policy response to the challenges of climate change is one thing," he wrote. "Disingenuous attempts to diminish or distort the reality of these challenges are quite another."
With a portfolio heavy on hydro, nuclear, and natural-gas power, California-based PG&E serves 5% of the U.S. population while producing only 1% of the industry's total emissions. And it's looking to even more distant frontiers for new energy -- space, for example. This year, it signed a purchasing agreement with Solaren, a startup that promises to put solar panels on a satellite and beam the energy down, at a competitive cost, by 2016. If only all utilities attacked greenhouse gases with this much ... energy.
San Francisco, CA
| NUMBER OF
total revenues for most recent fiscal year
what the company is most famous for
Being the greenest large utility.
why it's innovative
For seceding from the Chamber of Commerce over climate legislation and invested in next level energy technologies like space solar and compressed-air storage.