Greenpeace reported last week that a growing group of internet companies – led by Apple, Facebook and Google – are leading a dramatic shift in the technology sector by setting a goal of powering their growing operations with 100 % renewable energy.
Now, we’re seeing how these companies’ embrace of wind and solar power is proving to be contagious in other parts of the economy too.
IKEA announced on Thursday that it will invest in a wind farm in Illinois to produce enough power to cover its operations in the US. It also has installed rooftop solar panels on many of its stores here and in other countries, proving that procuring renewable energy can be even easier than assembling a coffee table if a company sets its mind to it.
So why are companies like Apple, Facebook, Google and IKEA switching to renewable energy? To give credit where its due, leaders at many of these companies genuinely believe in environmental responsibility and taking action to avoid the worst of global warming.
It doesn’t hurt that embracing clean energy makes for good publicity – almost all Americans support wind and solar energy over coal, gas and nuclear power in poll after poll.
And increasingly, companies are switching to renewable energy for another reason – to save money.
“The U.S has amazing wind and sun resources that will never run out,” an IKEA spokesperson said in a statement Thursday.
Google has said similar things in the past, noting that wind and solar prices are only going down, while the price of dirty electricity goes up every year. As Google’s Director of Global Infrastructure Gary Demasi noted at a Greenpeace forum in November:
“The wonderful thing about power purchase agreements for clean energy is that they’re at a fixed price, unlike brown power costs which are going up.”
Smart companies recognize all of these reasons to switch and are flocking to renewable energy. Even Microsoft, which has not yet embraced a goal of 100 % renewable energy unlike some of its internet peers, has invested in wind energy to power its data center in Texas.
These companies are leading the way to the clean energy future we need, and proving that wind and solar are ready and waiting to power our internet and the rest of our economy.