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Google Invests $1 Billion in Renewable Energy

Given increased worldwide energy demand, economic reliance on alternative energy solutions is paramount to the development of a sustainable future.

While government incentives and individual initiatives drive the renewable energy sector forward, companies like Google have also become significant contributing forces toward alternative energy production.

Recently, Google reached a major investment milestone, contributing more than $1 billion to wind and solar projects.

Spinning Spur
The milestone catalyst, a $200 million investment in the West Texas wind farm, Spinning Spur, will produce more than 161 megawatts (MW) of electricity to provide power for over 60,000 homes in the West Texas region. In comparison, Google’s servers, when operating at full capacity, can use as much as 476 megawatts of electricity! Speaking about the investment, Ako-Asare, Google’s senior manager of corporate finance said, “We look for projects like Spinning Spur because, in addition to creating more renewable energy and strengthening the local economy, they also make for smart investments: they offer attractive returns relative to the risks and allow us to invest in a broad range of assets.”

Google’s Varied Commitment to Renewable Energy
In conjunction with Google’s investment in Spinning Spur, the following list demonstrates the regional diversity and program-specific qualities of each investment:

  • Rippey Wind Farm: Financing wind power in Iowa
  • Recurrent Energy: Large-scale photovoltaic (PV) projects in California
  • Clean Power Finance: Financing for rooftop solar projects
  • SolarCity: Solar panel installations for thousands of residential rooftops
  • BrightSource: Concentrated solar power at scale
  • Atlantic Wind Connection: A superhighway for clean energy transmission
  • Alta Wind Energy Center: Harnessing winds of the Mojave
  • Shepherd’s Flat: One of the world’s largest wind farms
  • Peace Garden Wind Farms: Opening up more financing for wind
  • Photovoltaics in Germany: Investing in clean energy overseas

SolarCity
The varied investments in alternative energy projects are a centerpiece of Google’s sustainable initiatives, significantly utilizing its $1 billion in investments to promote various energy demands. In particular, Google’s most costly ($280 million) and ambitious project, SolarCity, seeks to provide accessible alternative energy to the masses, through tailored solar panel installations based on individual housing structures. To accomplish this task, Google offsets many of the consumer costs through solar panel system purchases while taking a portion of lease payments. In this manner, Google is able to ease both apprehension and financing difficulties associated with residential solar installations.

The Future
In addition to significant investments in outreach renewable energy programs, the company is largely committed to utilizing comprehensive alternative energy solutions for its own operations. According to its Green Energy webpage, about 30% of Google’s electricity comes from alternative energy, powering both corporate offices and data centers. With the demand for worldwide energy conflicting with declining fossil fuel availability, Google’s investments in clean energy are praise-worthy. As the nation continues to develop more clean energy projects, Google will likely continue to be at the forefront of companies dedicated to alternative energy solutions. For information about their green initiatives, please visit Google Green.

As the renewable energy market heats up, now is a great time to get started with a career in wind and solar. Everblue currently offers an extensive solar program, that encompasses various interests including solar sales, solar heating, and solar PV installations. For more information, please visit our Solar PV AssociateSolar Sales ProfessionalSolar PV InstallerSolar Contractor SeriesSolar Heating Associate, or Basics of Wind course.

Source: Renewable Energy World
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