A series of reports conducted by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), show that as more technology companies commit to renewable energy, the more they are increasingly driving green power adoption. In fact, tech companies are becoming the number one buyer of green energy. And with the IoT taking over, experts see the renewable purchasing trend to continue.
One of the biggest names in tech is leading this green energy movement. According to a BNEF report, Google is running all of its data centers with renewable energy. With 3 GW of renewable energy purchased, Google is closely followed by Facebook (2GW), and Microsoft, Amazon and Apple (1 GW each). This goes to show that the tech sector is leading the year with renewable energy corporate procurements.
For some time now, tech companies have been on the pace to lead the clean energy development. In fact BNEF reports found corporate purchases by August had already topped the total 2017 amount by almost 2 GW, with 7.2 GW of clean energy.
Currently, there are 25 billion IoT devices connected now, “and the numbers are expanding exponentially,” Richard Mroz, senior advisor of state and government relations for Protect Our Power, commented. And IHS Markit expects estimates data centers account for between two percent and three percent of electricity demand in developed nations, primarily for cooling.
“Onsite generation is the ideal way to implement renewable energy in data centers,” the firm said. But it added that off-site renewable energy sources like utility companies and renewable projects “are typically the easiest way for data centers to obtain renewable energy. Off-site generation removes the large upfront capital expenses to produce onsite renewable energy and the geographical limitations of renewable energy production methods.”
One potential solution could lie in the use of batteries, which tech companies have been purchasing as of late. Amazon is one company in particular that has had a lot of movement in battery purchasing. They recently purchased batteries from Tesla to help power its U.K. distribution centers.
“The deployment of cost-effective, large-scale energy storage could conceivably help create better matching of renewable energy supply with data center electric demand, particularly over the course of a day,” Google wrote in its renewable energy analysis. But it added, “storage may not necessarily be able to overcome major seasonal variations in renewable supply.”