Tech Giants Prepare for Renewables Surge
It's no secret that big tech companies are leaders in innovation. Whether they're creating the newest gadgets or updated cloud technology, they are pioneers in the field. However, one area where all big tech companies must improve is renewable energy. With COVID-19 exposing the link between public health and clean energy, tech giants are preparing for a renewables surge. As it happens, they must take charge and fully integrate the most sustainable solutions.
The Potential for Renewables
Renewable energy is on a steady incline around the world. From 2000 to 2018, renewable sources increased by 100% in the United States. This number will only continue advancing as well — 72% of all new energy in 2019 was renewable.
The potential for renewables is gaining traction every year. Solar and wind, in particular, have taken the industry by storm, developing into expansive fields. For these two solutions, the number one critique from naysayers is the cost. However, these prices continually drop and make them more affordable options.
In addition to the increasing attractiveness of renewables, fossil fuels have plummeted during the coronavirus pandemic. More people working from home has led to a drop-in vehicle emissions and factory pollution, meaning fossil fuel is down. Some critics go so far as to say the pandemic is the end for fossil fuels — recovery won't be possible.
Due to this dynamic, big tech companies now need to get on top of the incoming renewables surge. Big tech should focus on renewable energy as a means of progress and a way to improve public health.
A Harvard study recently linked areas with air pollution to higher COVID-19 mortality rates. With such a pressing issue at hand, big tech must act now.
How Tech Is Preparing
Big tech companies are what make the industry so strong. Without their innovations and contributions, society wouldn't have devices like the latest iPhones or convenient modifications like search engine updates. Apple, Google, Microsoft and Facebook are among the top big tech companies making strides toward sustainability and promising sustainable commitments. However, they need to match their cultural impact in more eco-friendly ways.
For instance, Facebook has committed to reaching 100% renewable power by the end of this year. However, the company seems to have pushed this goal back by a year. The key idea here is that big tech companies like Facebook must actually reach the commitments they set. Continuing to push them back won't likely fare well with the public — especially with COVID-19's health effects in mind.
Conversely, Google appears to be heading in the right path. In 2019, the company was the leader in the renewables surge — with 2.7 gigawatts (GW) of the total renewable energy corporation sales. Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft were a little further behind.
Now, with the renewed attention on sustainability and clean technology, these companies must take their efforts to the next level. Renewable energy should just be the beginning — focuses on green manufacturing solutions, cleaner transportation and a more circular economy are the next major goals.
Though each company has different, groundbreaking commitments to sustainability — like zero carbon emissions — they will need to start bringing these goals to fruition. The pandemic has exposed how quickly they must act.
The Future of Big Tech and Renewables
Since COVID-19 is so pervasive and dangerous, the big tech industry needs to help in any way it can. Pushing the renewables surge forward helps build momentum. Further, a green-based restart after the pandemic will be necessary.
With the unemployment rate in the U.S. at 11%, a powerful restart must happen. To do so, big tech companies could create jobs by pushing their sustainable goals forward. Switching to renewable energy, focusing on green manufacturing and achieving cleaner transportation would require more hands on deck. After companies hire more people, the U.S. economy could get a kick-start to get back on the right track.
2021 Renewables Surge
As of 2020, the pandemic has doused some of the renewable energy movement's momentum — but only some. With continuous backing from big tech, renewable power sources can reach their highest usage ever in 2021 and the following years.
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