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 effectively made its way to the majority of the population – but that is changing.
“Much of the energy industry is consumed and driven but 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. In 2017 alone Edgecore, owner and operator of cloud-connected, wholesale data centers, proposed Dallas as the location for their $2 billion investment of data campuses. Seeing an opportunity to fill the market need, the company plans to build a 900,000 square foot campus that will provide scalable service to businesses in the DFW area with the ability to grow with the market demand. As this project is still in its developmental stages its intended scale highlights just how large the business community is expanding to.
This major spike in the data industry has been developing over recent years through vast increases in the Texas business population who have established expanded demand for organizational support.
So how are these data centers powering up? Two primary sources of renewable energy are being utilized by the tech giants – 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. Amazon’s largest Wind Farm in fact operates out of the state and is responsible for sending a whopping 1,000,000+ megawatts of electricity to the grid each year. Large scale wind operations such as the one run by Amazon helps to position Texas as the nation’s leader in wind energy.
With these 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. Another industry giant, Google, announced that 2017 was the start to having all its facilities and data centers run on 100% renewable electricity.
“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.
With a strong influence on the commercial market as a whole, these tech giants are also utilizing their influence to help expand renewable energy consumption even further. Leveraging their position with manufacturers, tech providers are encouraging and pushing their suppliers to go green. This can be seen with one of tech’s biggest players, Apple, who shared earlier this year 100% of electricity used to power its facilities and data centers comes from renewable resources with nearly two dozen of its suppliers making the same commitment to using 100% renewable energy.
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.