That’s the growth in corporate purchase agreements for renewable energy in just four years, since 2012. Back then, these agreements were about 100 MW, and in 2015 the total was 3.25 GW. The Rocky Mountain Institute expects a whopping 60 GW to be needed for the US corporate market by 2025.
Some extra attention was brought to this trend last week by Google’s announcement that they will be 100% renewable energy next year, a Big Deal for a company that’s mostly data centers. Here’s how Google stacks up against other organizations (via FastCo and Bloomberg):
Of course this does not mean that every data center will have its own wind turbine in the backyard; there’s still a big geographic gap between the regions where renewables are produced and the regions where demand is highest, which is managed through the complexities (and sometimes shortcomings) of our electrical grid. This fascinating, frustrating system is also the topic of The Grid, one of Bill Gates’ top books for 2016 , now on my reading list as well. As a former electrical equipment analyst, I am ridiculously excited for this book.