Solar power is almost 90 percent cheaper than it was 10 years ago and wind power is about 70 percent cheaper, said Gregory Wetstone, president and chief executive of the American Council on Renewable Energy, a nonprofit that promotes the transition to renewable power.

This has left many of the world’s biggest companies falling all over themselves to embrace solar power, wind power, and other renewables. But over the past decade, major retailers like Target and Walmart, who use vast quantities of energy in their stores, have gone from sticking a toe in the water to diving in headfirst.

“Target and Walmart are competing over who can be greener,” said Mr. Wetstone. Besides saving serious money on energy costs, he said, “There are tremendous business advantages from having customers understand that you walk the walk.”

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