200

Megawatt Projects

Awarded two 100+MW (p. 17) projects for LightSource BP, planned to start in late 2021

1

Billion Dollars

Orbital is evaluating $1 billion+ of project opportunities for 2022

500

Megawatts

Orbital has constructed 500+ MW of solar farms


The Path to Drawdown: 

PV Solar

To solve climate change and remain below 1.5ºC of global warming, the world needs to wean itself away from generating power from fossil fuels to using 100% emissions-free sources.

The most powerful source of this clean energy is the sun. Photovoltaic or PV solar panels (the kind you see on rooftops) have emerged as the predominant way of capturing the sun's energy and turning it into electricity.

The solar industry has been growing fast and, as of 2020, solar panels are now the cheapest source of electricity in most places on earth.

Solar produces ~2% of global electricity today. According to Project Drawdown, to be on a path to remain under 1.5ºC of warming, utility scale solar (as opposed to rooftop solar) will need to be generating a combined ~26% of global electricity by 2050.

To get there, the PV solar industry needs to continue to massively scale over the few next decades:

  • 720 TWh of solar electricity was generated in 2019
  • 28,200 TWh is needed by 2050
  • That’s a CAGR of 12.56% from 2019 - 2050


Another analysis from the IEA predicts that, to reach a 100% clean electricity grid by 2050, annual solar panel manufacturing capacity will need to scale from 737 GW in 2020 to 4,956 GW in 2030 (p.198).

Introduction

iOrbital Energy Group, Inc. (stock ticker: OEG) and its subsidiaries provide engineering, construction, maintenance and emergency response solutions to customers in a range of power and energy industries. They’re headquartered in Aldine Western, Texas.

OEG’s Role in Drawdown

Orbital Energy Group operates in three business segments. Out of these three, their Electric Power and Solar Infrastructure Services segments (p. 4) offer Drawdown solutions of solar PV and grid expansion.

Their Solar Infrastructure segment engineers, procures, and builds solutions that support the development of renewable energy generation focused on utility-scale solar systems. It has expertise (p. 1) in renewable energy project delivery, site preparation, and public utility construction. Orbital acquired (p. 17) the subsidiary that provides these services in 2020.

So far, Orbital has constructed over 50 solar projects, with a total capacity of more than 500 MW (p. 2). According to the IEA’s estimate, the total global solar PV capacity in 2020 was 737 GW. This means that Orbital’s solar projects accounted for 0.07% of the global share. 

The IEA projects that global solar PV capacity needs to grow to 4,956 GW by 2030 and to 14,458 GW by 2050 to achieve net zero emissions. For Orbital to maintain their current market share in this trajectory, they’ll need to build 3.36 GW of solar capacity by 2030 and 9.8 GW by 2050. To get there, they’ll need to grow their construction by 21% annually between now and 2030, and by 5.5% between 2030 and 2050. 

Orbital’s second segment - the Electric Power segment - designs, installs, upgrades, repairs and maintains the electric power transmission and distribution infrastructure, substations facilities, and emergency restoration services. Orbital is aiming to eventually expand this segment to account for 40-60% (p. 13) of total revenues.

OEG: What We Like

We’ll update this section once Orbital makes sustainability information available.

OEG: What We Want to See Improve

Divest from Gas Business


Orbital’s third business (p. 4) segment designs, installs, and commissions industrial gas sampling, measurement and delivery systems and serves gas utilities, power generation, emissions, manufacturing and automotive industries. Even though Orbital claims (p. 24) to be committed to reducing US carbon footprint through their service offerings, their gas segment enables the continuation of high-emitting industries. We urge Orbital to divest from this segment at soon as possible.

Disclose Sustainability Metrics


Orbital doesn’t make any sustainability information available as of now. As investors become increasingly concerned about the carbon footprint of their portfolios, companies need to enhance their disclosure around their sustainability metrics and efforts. We need Orbital to follow this trend by reporting their GHG emissions, emissions avoided, sustainability initiatives, and the amount of energy consumed by its source. These pieces of information should be disclosed in an annual sustainability report.

Set Emission Reduction Targets


The next step after enhancing disclosure is to set concrete commitments for reducing GHG emissions. As a company, how much direct and indirect emissions can Orbital commit to? These targets should be aggressive, in-line with the Paris Agreement to stay below 1.5°C of global warming, and be accompanied by practical strategies for achieving them.

Other Solar Infrastructure Stocks in the Climate Index

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