Tech Giants Increase Lobbying Spend for Renewable Energy

Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Apple have spent millions in recent lobbying efforts, many of which target renewable energy issues.

In the second quarter of the year, Amazon spent a record $3.2 million on lobbying for a number of issues, including renewable energy taxes. The online retailer announced in 2016 that its data centers would run on 50% renewable energy by the end of 2017. Eventually, the company hopes to run on 100% renewable energy.

Google spent just under $5.4 million, according to datacenterdynamics.com, and, with Google powering all of its data centers with renewable energy, the company lobbied on wind power, geothermal power and nuclear power, among other issues.

Just days ago, Google announced it will enter into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Eneco to purchase all of the electricity generated by the largest solar park in the Netherlands. The electricity will be used to power the Eemshaven data center, which cost roughly 600 million euros to build and opened in 2016. And last year, the tech company ran an experiment in which its DeepMind AI technology reduced energy use in its data centers by 40%.

Microsoft, another company aiming to use 100% renewable energy for its data centers, spent $2.07 million lobbying on, among other topics, energy efficiency, climate change policies and renewables.

The tech company has long pushed for renewable energy sources, especially for its data centers. In February, the company announced it had installed an underwater data center, which draws energy from the tides and cuts down on cooling costs. The data center is currently in testing phase.

Fellow tech giant Apple, meanwhile, spent some of its $2.2 million in lobbying money on climate change and renewable technology. Just this month, the company announced 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.

In April, Apple announced that seven of the company’s suppliers have committed to using 100% renewable energy to manufacture components for the tech company.

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