New global trend-megacorporations choose renewable energy sources
While humanity is fighting for a healthy and ecological future for our planet, large corporations have decided to take matters into their own hands.
Google, Apple, Facebook, Samsung and other tech giants have begun a full transition to renewable energy. Some of them have already achieved this goal.
Government policies, corporate social responsibility, and the reduction in the cost of energy from renewable sources only accelerate this process. The end of the fossil fuel era is very close. This is understood by both major oil companies, who invest billions of dollars in renewable energy, and Arab sheikhs, who build huge wind and solar parks on their territories. With the ratification of the Paris Agreement, many countries have taken the responsibility to significantly reduce the environmental damage that is now caused by uncontrolled human activity. Without business support, implementing changes and saving the planet is much more difficult. Fortunately, large businesses don’t need an explanation as to why it’s important. Techno-giants, having super profits, were among the first to understand the need to switch to the “energy of the future”.
The undisputed leader in this process is Alphabet (Google’s parent company). Back in 2010, the company’s management stated that it intended to fully provide itself with clean energy. In fact, this process started even earlier. In 2007, the company closed its first major deal with a 114-megawatt wind farm in Iowa at a fixed rate for 20 years. With this, the company made a loud statement to the entire market that it is ready to work long-term, providing financial guarantees to its “green” contractors. At the end of 2016, the company reported that it had already achieved its main goal and now provides itself with 100 % renewable energy! Currently, deals for the supply of “clean” energy have been concluded with more than 25 suppliers. At the same time, Google is generally working to reduce energy consumption by introducing the latest, less energy-intensive technologies.
Facebook, headed by Mark Zuckerberg, is not far behind. In 2013, the company announced its intention to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 75 % and switch to electricity consumption exclusively from renewable sources by 2020. The interim goal was to reach 50% by 2018, but it was achieved in 2015. However, the pace has since slowed. According to the latest data, Facebook is now 51% self-sufficient in renewable energy.
Samsung Electronics is still falling behind but promised that by 2020 will catch up with their competitors. At the same time, the tech giant supports the South Korean government’s initiative to increase energy production from alternative sources by 20% by 2030. This year, Samsung will install solar panels on an area of 42 thousand square meters at its headquarters in Suwon. And in 2019-2020, it will cover about 21 thousand square meters with solar panels and geothermal installations on the campuses in Pyeongtaek and Hwaseong. The company’s approach differs from other giants because if Facebook and Google just buy “clean” energy, Samsung has chosen the path of generation, which is a technologically more complex and time-consuming process.
Following Google, the leader in terms of market capitalization Apple also stated that it is already fully self-sufficient in renewable energy. By the way, Apple has led the Greenpeace ranking of “green” companies for three years in a row. The corporation uses a balanced approach to providing itself with energy. In addition to buying “clean” electricity, Apple directly finances the construction of new renewable energy generation facilities. Today, the company already has more than 25 operating wind and solar power plants in 11 countries. Another 15 facilities are in the making.
The trend of making full use of renewable energy in the corporate sector is increasingly gaining momentum. What’s interesting is that it encourages the entire corporate world to think about the energy they consume. Most large corporations already have requirements for contractors to use “clean” energy in their operations. In particular, due to this approach, Apple has reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 54 %, in absolute terms this is 2.1 million tons. CO2! That’s a huge amount!
Climate Group, an international environmental non-profit organization, founded the RE100 initiative, which brings together large corporations seeking to completely switch to green energy. Now the initiative includes more than 155 companies from 140 countries. Unfortunately, there are no Ukrainian companies among them yet. In total, the initiative participants consume 188 terawatt hours, which is more than countries such as Poland or Egypt. If RE100 were a country, it would rank 23rd in the world in terms of electricity consumption, and the total revenue of companies participating in the initiative is $ 4.5 trillion, or 5 % of the global GDP.
In 37 participants of the initiative, the share of RES in the total balance of electricity consumption is already more than 95%, in 28 of them – 100 %. The main motivation is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and corporate social responsibility of business.
An interesting fact is that even separate lines are being built to supply “green” energy, outside of the main power lines. This approach is most actively used in India, where more than 43 % of the “green” energy is delivered to the consumer by separate power grids.
According to Bloomberg NEF, a consulting company, the volume of deals for renewable energy in 2017 was 5.4 gigawatts. In 2018, more than 10 gigawatts. Meaning, the growth occurs in a geometric progression.
I am sure that this global trend will reach Ukraine very soon. Even today, we are demonstrating an outstanding development of the green energy market. Every year, the share of “clean” energy in the total energy balance is only growing. I hope that lawmakers will not stop this process by excessive regulation. After all, right now large Ukrainian companies are already thinking about a full transition to renewable energy, some have even launched pilot projects. Moreover, Ukraine has a huge potential in this area, we still clearly have a place to grow and develop.
These are the prospects that allow us to predict that soon the global trend for renewable energy sources will take over the corporate segment of Ukraine. Even as we speak and with every passing day we are getting one step closer to such desired energy independence. Therefore, from now on – we shall never look back!
The material was taken from LIGA.net