Even though Google has been known to make large investments in renewable energy in the past, their employees are still frustrated that the company is not doing enough to decrease its environmental footprint. In response to these frustrations, tech employees who are involved in the Global Climate Strike, staged a series of walkouts. Google’s response to these unfortunate events? To announce that it will be making “the biggest corporate purchase of renewable energy.”
This purchase, according to Google, includes a package of 1,600-megawatts of wind and solar agreements, as well as 18 new energy deals. This is the largest corporate renewable energy purchase to date. In fact, this purchase has been compared to the same amount of power that one million solar rooftops can provide. Additionally, this investment will increase the company’s agreements by 40%, taking its renewable energy fleet to 52 projects.
In addition to this historically large purchase, Google went on to promise reducing its waste by only using recycled materials in “Made By Google” products. They are hoping to fulfill this promise by 2022.
In a recent article published in Medium, Google employees stated that “Google Cloud makes significant revenue licensing infrastructure, machine learning, and engineering talent to fossil fuel companies, promising to help them extract fuel reserves faster.” They go on to admit that “tech is not ‘green’,” but it is apparent that this does not have to be the case, and if tech companies want to actually make a positive difference, they have the power to do so.
These Google employees have certainly proven that change in the tech industry is possible, and not only have they opened the eyes of Google, but they have also opened the eyes of Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO. On the same day that Google announced its historical purchase, Bezos also made an announcement: that Amazon will be joining the climate change fight by establishing something called the “The Climate Pledge.” This pledge does not just state that it will accomplish the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement, but that it will accomplish it 10 years earlier than planned. Bezos also established the goals of operating on 80% renewable energy by 2024 and 100% by 2030.
If you’re a business owner who is looking to incorporate alternative energy into your business so you can reduce your environmental footprint, contact the team at Intersect Energy today!
Countries around the world have committed to a clean future by investing in renewable energy. Since 2010, clean energy has made its mark on the world economy. 2019 marks a record-breaking year in renewable energy investment, as the investment is on course to reach $2.6 trillion over the past decade. Due to the advancements in clean energy, the market has grown exponentially—making it more affordable and accessible for both commercial and residential customers worldwide.
Worldwide Expansion of Solar Energy
With these record-breaking investments, reports have confirmed that renewable energy capacity has quadrupled from 414 GW at the end of 2009 to over 1,650 GW in 2019. The biggest contributions to this expansion have been solar and wind farms. Solar power capacity has increased 2,500% globally, drawing in half—$1.3 trillion—of the $2.6 trillion in renewable energy investments. By the end of this year, solar alone will have grown to 663 GW—enough to produce the electricity needed in 100 million homes in the U.S.
“Investing in renewable energy is investing in a sustainable and profitable future, as the last decade of incredible growth in renewables has shown,” said Inger Andersen, executive director of UNEP. “It is clear that we need to rapidly step up the pace of the global switch to renewables if we are to meet international climate and development goals.”
The Race for Renewables
Although the U.S. has invested $356 billion in renewables over the last decade, China takes the gold metal as the biggest investor of renewables. China alone has invested $758 billion between 2010 and 2019. Coming in third place, Japan invested $202 billion. Although there has been an overall increase in clean energy from wind, solar and hydro, a large portion of this energy was generated from coal and natural gas plants.
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