The Green Trend: Global Corporations Are Buying Renewable Energy

Why Are They Buying Clean Energy?

This year, one of the biggest global renewable energy trends is “green corporations”. Large companies are increasingly implementing clean energy in their daily operations.

Today, corporations globally have access to a wide variety of sustainability solutions.While each of them has its own strategy of using more renewable energy, the end goal is often similar – protecting the environment and saving costs.

Since 2012, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the top U.S. companies have increased their solar usage by 240%, and demand for socially responsible financial planning has also increased.

 

The Greenest Ones

EPA, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, released the List of Green Power Partners in April, 2019. These companies also appear on the Fortune 500® list.

The EPA’s list consists of 74 companies using more than 32 billion kWh of green power annually, which is equivalent to the electricity use of nearly 3 million average American homes. Below you will find the TOP 10 from the List of Green Power Partners.

Partner Name Annual Green Power Usage (kWh) GP % of Total Electricity Use* Industry Green Power Resources
1. Google Inc. (Alphabet) 5,921,710,873 107% Technology & Telecom Biogas, Solar, Wind
2. Microsoft Corporation 5,335,585,000 100% Technology & Telecom Solar, Wind
3. Intel Corporation 3,897,829,084 101% Technology & Telecom Geothermal, Solar, Wind
4. Wells Fargo 1,983,773,126 106% Banking & Fin. Srvcs. Solar, Wind
5. Apple Inc. 1,837,004,495 101% Technology & Telecom Various
6. Bank of America 1,717,381,254 96% Banking & Fin. Srvcs. Solar, Wind
7. Starbucks (company-owned cafe retail stores) 1,124,920,000 105% Restaurants & Cafes Solar, Wind
8. Cisco Systems, Inc. 1,090,892,778 100% Technology & Telecom Solar, Wind
9. Walmart Inc. 1,037,330,534 5% Retail Various
10. Procter & Gamble 794,183,870 27% Consumer Products Various

The list reflects the amount of green power as a percentage of total electricity use. Partners choosing to purchase green power in an amount exceeding 100 percent of their U.S. organization-wide electricity use are listed as such. These rankings are updated on a quarterly schedule. Complete list can be found here: https://www.epa.gov/greenpower/green-power-partnership-fortune-500r-partners-list

The Tech Industry Is Going Green

As more devices are connected to the Internet, data flows are expected to grow rapidly. Thus, Cisco expects a 75% increase in global data as the internet of things (IoT) expands.

According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), the technology industry signed deals for 10.4 GW of renewables in 2018.

Source: BNEF

Google is the largest corporate renewable energy purchaser on the planet, but other big names like Facebook, Apple and Microsoft, are also investing heavily. Google was one of the first few corporations to create large-scale, long-term contracts to buy renewable energy directly from developers through power purchase agreements.

Today, Google powers its global operations including both its offices and data centres by 100% renewable energy. Dozens of wind turbines each standing 260 feet tall spin in the breeze on the plains of Oklahoma, feeding electricity for a Google data center about 180 miles away.

Wind turbines in Oklahoma, USA. Source: https://www.energycentral.com/

In the company’s view, this is not just good for the environment but also a sound business decision. Over the past years, the cost of wind and solar energy has dropped dramatically, allowing Google to save good money.

In April 2019, Apple that ranks 5th on the EPA’s list announced it nearly doubled the number of suppliers that have committed to run their Apple production on 100 percent clean energy, bringing the total number to 44. Because of this partnership between Apple and its suppliers, Apple will exceed its goal of bringing 4 gigawatts of renewable energy into its supply chain by 2020.

Source: https://www.apple.com/

To recap, in 2018, Apple announced that all of its global facilities are powered by 100 percent renewable energy.

Facebook has recently announced its ambitious plan to power its global operations with 100 per cent renewable energy, and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 75 per cent by 2020.

By the way, Facebook signed contracts for over 2.5 GW during the past 12 months. The corporation is currently building a large data centre in Odense, Denmark. The data centre is expected to start working in 2020.

On the other hand, a good example in the manufacturing and automation industry is Siemens. Back in 2015, the company announced its plan to spend almost USD 110 mln for renewable energy, to reduce its carbon emissions in half by 2020 and become carbon neutral by 2030. On top of all, those green measures would help the company to save from 20 to 30 million USD annually.

According to www.utilitydive.com, the largest sellers of renewable energy to big companies are NextEra, Invenergy LLC and units of large European utilities such as Energias de Portugal SA, Electricite de France SA and Enel SpA.

 

We will discuss this and many other issues during SEF 2019 KYIV the 11th Sustainable Energy Forum and Trade Show of Central and Eastern European in Kyiv on October 16-18.

You can register for SEF 2019 KYIV:

on the website: sefkyiv.com

by phone: +38 044 383 03 56

or by sending an email to sef@ibcentre.org

 

Sources:

https://www.epa.gov/greenpower/green-power-partnership-fortune-500r-partners-list

https://iswitch.com.sg/companies-implementing-green-sustainable-energy/

https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2019/04/apple-tops-clean-energy-goal-with-new-supplier-commitments/

https://stateofgreen.com/en/partners/state-of-green/news/green-trend-corporations-buy-renewable-energy/

https://www.utilitydive.com/news/big-tech-companies-are-becoming-the-top-buyers-of-green-energy-to-meet-data/542256/

https://www.business.com/articles/rise-of-green-business-innovation/

 

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