Though the Trump Administration has announced the U.S. is no longer participating in the Paris Accord, local and state governments, along with various organizations and corporations, are continuing their push towards renewable energy as an alternative power source.
Companies are purchasing renewable energy credits, entering into clean power purchase agreements, investing in renewable generation and participating in utility green power tariffs. REI, Kohls and Netflix currently source 100% of their electricity usage through renewable energy, while Google recently announced it will meet its 100% renewable energy goal this year.
Just last month, Goldman Sachs announced it signed a long-term power purchase agreement with a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources to build a 68-MW wind farm in Pennsylvania. The move — putting Goldman closer to its goal of using 100% renewable energy — comes at a time when the financial company is predicting serious growth of renewables in Europe for the foreseeable future.
And in July, Apple announced that it will begin construction on a data center in Denmark that will run entirely on renewable energy. The $921 million project will begin operations in 2019 in Aabenraa in southern Denmark near the German border. It will power Apple’s online services, including the iTunes Store, App Store, iMessage, Maps and Siri for customers across Europe.
As more and more companies move towards renewables — and as more customers favor those that do — there are certain aspects to keep in mind. Companies must discern how political and regulatory interpretation of public sentiment and public good are likely to impact clean energy policy direction on a regional basis. Company leaders must also analyze power markets in the areas they operate, gain insight into distributed energy resources (DERs) and develop new business models that take into account the increasing focus on sustainable solutions.