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How the growing tech space is bringing renewable energy into the mass market
Written By: Jen Neville
June 4, 2018
Over the last 10 decades the renewable energy sector has been experiencing growth with consumers and businesses working towards implementing environmentally conscious power sources into their daily lives. However the high costs and limited availability of options and resources in the renewable market has capped the ability for many to introduce it as their primary energy source. Even as many consumers make the switch to energy conscious alternatives such as electric cars and solar powered homes, the renewable market hasn’t fully made its way to the majority of the population – but that is changing.
“Much of the energy industry is consumed and driven by large corporations and a new trend is being seen in some of today’s leading tech organizations helping to increase the use of renewable energy,” shares Texas based entrepreneur and energy efficient business owner, Marcus Hiles. Stemming from the rapidly increasing need for additional offices, data centers and service support; companies such as Google, Amazon and Microsoft are expanding their operations and looking to renewable energy sources to help do it efficiently and in favor of consumers and the environment.
One area that has been increasing across the country – and more specifically in areas such as Texas that now holds the #2 busiest market in the world – is data centers. Large scale projects such as wholesale data provider Edgecore’s planned $2 billion investment in its 900,000sq ft Dallas based data campus highlights just how large the business community is expanding to.
And these newly established data centers are powering up through two primary sources of renewable energy – wind and solar. Accounting for nearly one fourth of the nation’s installed wind power generating capacity, Texas itself houses some of the country’s leading data centers that run on renewable power including Amazon’s largest Wind Farm. Responsible for sending a whopping 1,000,000+ megawatts of electricity to the grid each year, these large scale operations help to position Texas as the nation’s leader in wind energy.
With an influx of consciously-run operations powering the area’s businesses, the corporations behind them are helping leave a better impact on the environment and impression on consumers – and the model is catching on to other areas of the country.
According to the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, since 2008 renewable energy has doubled from 9% to 18% of the US’s energy mix and the role tech businesses are playing is keeping the increase on the rise. Industry giants, Google and Apple have both announced their commitment to having all facilities and data centers run on 100% renewable electricity and they’re leveraging their influence to encourage suppliers to go green as well.
“Large corporations in the tech space are seeing the positive impacts they can benefit from by using cost-efficient and energy-efficient alternatives. These approaches will soon be the norm as consumers put more pressure on the companies they look up to, to be more responsible,” shares Mr. Hiles, who also implements today’s energy star rated materials into his 20,000+ residential rental properties that span the state of Texas.
As we see more businesses adopting renewable energy sources to power their operations, the consumer market will soon follow. The demand is there, however until the limitations with narrow options, high costs and the misunderstood market is relieved; it will be up to influential players like leading tech organizations to push more energy efficient practices into the mainstream and mass market.