While leadership in Washington actively denies and down plays the importance of renewable energy, the largest US tech firms are racing toward a carbon-free future.
One of these companies just reached a major milestone in realizing this carbon-free vision. Google recently announced that the company’s total purchase of energy from sources like wind and solar exceeded the amount of electricity used by its operations around the world. This includes all its data centers.
The blog post goes into depth explaining how they define this goal. The company says, in 2017 for every kilowatt-hour of electricity it consumed, it also purchased a kilowatt-hour of renewable energy from a wind or solar farm owned by Google. Google makes it clear that these solar & wind farms may not be directly powering Google’s facilities.
“What’s important to us is that we are adding new clean energy sources to the electrical system, and that we’re buying that renewable energy in the same amount as what we’re consuming, globally and on an annual basis.”
-Urs Hölzle (Senior Vice President @ Google)
By doing so it became the first major US Corporation to accomplish such a feat. The search giant is optimistic it will one day be able to actually power all its operations every hour of every day using renewable sources. But for now this is a major first step toward realizing this vision.
Growing Business Trends
A newfound focus on renewable energy and sustainable practices is being seen in organizations around the world. More and more corporations are announcing strategies that aim to implement clean-energy tech. The worlds most valuable company, Apple, is also vying for a carbon free future. Apple recently completed construction of its new global headquarters powered 100% by renewable energy.
The new facility uses renewable energy sources such as solar and bio fuels to accomplish this feat. 75 % of the buildings energy is generated on site by a 17-megawatt rooftop solar installation and 4 megawatts of base load biogas fuel cells. Any additional energy required is drawn from the California Flats Solar Project in nearby Monterey County.
Another such example is The Heresy Company. The chocolate and candy manufacturer recently announced a 500 million dollar investment towards sustainable farming practices in western Africa.
All these instances of the US’s most innovative and established firms working toward creating a sustainable future draw a sharp contrast to current political climate in Washington. The current US administration has gone a record downplaying the value of renewable energy and sustainable practices in favor of traditional technologies and energy sources. All in all, the policy environment doesn’t seem to deter companies from contributing their piece towards achieving a sustainable future.