Companies, Countries, go for 100 Percent Renewable Electricity

November 20, 2017

Watch this video – trust me, trust me, trust me.

Last week, Ireland’s Citizens’ Assembly met to debate how the country could establish itself as a world leader in the fight against climate change. During the gathering, members heard how the nearby European nation of Scotland has managed to get on track to supply 100 percent of its electricity via renewables by 2020.

Over the past fifteen years, Scotland has gone from garnering 10 percent of its electricity from renewables to 60 percent. The country hit its emissions targets for 2020 five years earlier than anticipated, and looks set to preserve that momentum going forward.

Scotland’s transition to renewable energy has been made without any negative impact on the country’s finances – its accomplishments serve to demonstrate that there’s no longer a need to decide between ecological and economic considerations.

Part of its success can be attributed to a focus on making sure that improvements were implemented in a way that had a positive impact regionally, as well as across the whole country. For instance, the government set a target for the construction of 500-megawatts’ worth of locally-owned energy generation plants. This was attained well ahead of time, so the goal has now been increased to 1,000-megawatts’ worth of facilities.

Scotland isn’t the only place looking to end its reliance on fossil fuels. However, most other countries aren’t quite as ambitious in terms of timescale.

In June 2017, an entire province of China was able to run on 100 percent renewable energy for seven days straight. This is part of a wider effort for the company to clean up its act when it comes to the environment.

In the US, California has pledged to make a complete transition to renewable energy by 2045, despite being the third-largest state producer of oil and gas. Similarly, the city of Atlanta expects to end its usage of fossil fuels by 2035.

Roanoke Times (Virginia):

Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google do different things, but the tech giants all have the same goal (aside from, perhaps, world domination).

These energy-hungry companies all want to get 100 percent of their power from renewable sources.

They are all well on their way, too.

Amazon Web Services last year generated more than 40 percent of its power from renewable energy and is on pace to hit 50 percent by the end of this year. In Virginia alone, it’s announced six different solar farms, all in rural counties that are mostly on the eastern side of the state — in Accomack, Buckingham, New Kent, Powhatan and Sussex counties. It’s also installing solar panels on its fulfillment centers, which the company says will help provide 80 percent of the power there.

Facebook says renewables will provide 50 percent of the power to its data centers by the end of 2018.

Apple says it’s already at 93 percent (although it apparently achieves the target by paying other companies to generate renewable energy as an offset to what it buys from coal-powered local utilities in some markets). Google says it will hit the 100 percent mark later this year.

You may notice we didn’t mention Microsoft. That’s because it’s already there. The software giant says it became 100 percent renewable-powered in 2014.

The tech companies are sexy, of course, but they’re not alone. There are 110 major companies who have pledged to use only renewable energy. Their target dates vary — Bank of America and Coca-Cola say they will be 100 percent renewable by 2020; eBay says it will hit that goal by 2025. General Motors is more cautious and sets a goal of 2050.

All this is good for the planet: Here are some of the biggest and fastest-growing companies in the world foreswearing carbon emissions.

It’s also good for their bottom lines. In many markets, renewables are now cheaper than fossil fuels.


Almost half of the biggest U.S. companies have established clean-energy targets for themselves, according to a report Tuesday from sustainable investors and environmental groups including the World Wildlife Fund.

It’s not just the biggest U.S. companies — 44 percent of the smallest 100 members of the Fortune 500 have also set goals, up from 25 percent in 2014, and 48 percent of the entire list.

Many are finding that renewable energy isn’t just cleaner, it’s also often cheaper. About 190 Fortune 500 companies collectively reported about $3.7 billion in annual savings, according to Power Forward 3.0, a report by WWF, Ceres, Calvert Research & Management and CDP.

“We’re not talking about anecdotal information anymore,” Marty Spitzer, a WWF senior director of climate and renewable energy in Washington, said in an interview. “We’re talking about large, large savings.”

Potential savings and sustainability goals prompted corporations to buy almost 3.7 gigawatts of power generated by clean-energy projects in 2015, and another 2.5 gigawatts last year, almost all from wind and solar, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

7 Responses to “Companies, Countries, go for 100 Percent Renewable Electricity”

  1. schwadevivre Says:

    How long before someone puts tide turbines on the bottom of the main mast and on the anchors?

  2. Reblogged this on The Most Revolutionary Act and commented:
    Countries and companies are finding that renewable energy isn’t just cleaner, it’s also often cheaper. About 190 Fortune 500 companies collectively reported about $3.7 billion in annual savings, according to Power Forward 3.0, a report by WWF, Ceres, Calvert Research & Management and CDP.

  3. Jerry Falwel Says:

    Not a single watt of solar or wind is built without some form of theft by the government of the taxpayers money which is paid out to the builders of renewable. The power forward report is a collection of lies and distortions. If the company is in a very high cost power place, renewable may be cheaper as long as the company only needs the power for a few hours a day and can afford power outages and they can build the renewal using taxpayer dollars and sell the power back at higher than market. Most of the saving is the company increasing efficiency which has zero to do with renewable power but they stuck that in their report to get to the 3.7 billion number.

    Get cheap safe storage and the renewable market would start to look viable. Until that day it is a ponzi scheme proped up with taxpayers dollars.

  4. indy222 Says:

    The key paragraph is the one on California… “despite being the 3rd largest state producer of oil and gas”. Now if they CAPPED and DECOMMISSIONED those wells, we’d have something. But of course they are not, and Jerry Brown is part of that game. That oil and gas is being exported out of state and out of country, much to Asia… and THEY burn it. Climate doesn’t care who burns it. Burned is BURNED, and global CO2 is the result. 2% rise for 2017 vs 2016, globally.

    Global accumulated inflation-adjusted GDP spending over all time, has been growing at 2% for many years now, and the Garrett Relation shows that this must be the same % rise in annual power consumption. Over 80% of primary energy is from fossil fuels, so if you insist on global economic growth (to keep everyone short-term happy 🙂 then you need to install the equivalent of 11 square miles of solar PV panels every DAY, JUST TO KEEP GLOBAL CO2 EMISSIONS FROM RISING BEYOND THE CURRENT 37 BILLION TONS/YR, and therefore to keep the rising atmospheric CO2 curve from continuing to go upward EXPONENTIALLY. If we DO succeed in constructing 11 square miles of solar PV every day, the atmospheric CO2 concentrations will stop going up exponentially…. CO2 “only” go up LINEARLY. Not good enough by a very wide margin.

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