Google Will Hit 100% Renewable Energy by Year-end

by John Brian Shannon | Reposted from JBSNews.com

Google will hit 100% renewable energy milestone in 2017

The Google plex in Mountain View, CA
The Googleplex in Mountain View, California.

It was back in 2007 when Google first announced their intention to pursue a 100% renewable energy program, and since then the firm has driven with steely-eyed determination towards its clean energy targets.

It’s especially gratifying to understand this when you consider Google’s global operations use as much electricity as the entire city of San Francisco. Some 2.6 GigaWatts of electrical demand are required by Google Inc. worldwide — all of it produced by wind and solar.

Google also has plenty of experimental renewable energy projects on the go, including a promising ocean wave energy programme that is light-years ahead of similar projects — and their version of this hopeful technology seems to be an economically viable method of collecting clean energy from the ocean — which it does without harming the local sea life. Which makes ocean wave energy much more valuable than tidal energy which mounts huge propellers on the seafloor.

The company continues to dramatically increase the level of energy efficiency in it’s office buildings and data centres concomitant with it’s decade-long drive towards 100% renewable energy.

Google Environmental Report 2017 - renewable energy by the numbers
Google Environmental Report 2017 – renewable energy by the numbers. Click image to enlarge.

Not only has it pioneered the way that corporations incorporate renewable energy into their operations, it has changed the entire utility industry model with novel Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) terms.

Alphabet (Google’s parent company) has helped millions of energy consumers to become aware of their personal carbon footprint and lower their energy bills by 18% on average via the Nest Thermostat which has saved more than (as of December 31, 2016) some 10 billion kWh combined — enough energy to power all of San Francisco for more than 21 months.

Google has recently created Earth Outreach, a realtime planetary dashboard to predict and analyze solutions for farmers, to help us understand geological events as they occur, to enhance political borders and study biological boundaries from space, and so much more. This amazing resource hasn’t begun to reach it’s full potential.

Like email a generation ago, which people thought of as a simple form of text communication to be used by academics and speechwriters — yet look at what has happened to email since the first message was sent via the ‘information superhighway’. Kinda takes you back in time, doesn’t it? Anyway, Earth Outreach will follow a similar growth curve to the explosive growth of email, and in a few years Google Moon Outreach and Google Mars Outreach will become the biggest thing in the world since, well, email.

Whatever you’re doing right now isn’t as important as reading Google’s brilliant and viewer-friendly report, click here to read some truly inspiring news.

What’s the Role of Civil Society in the Race to the Zero Carbon Economy?

Originally posted at The Beam

Richard Heinberg interview by Anne-Sophie Garrigou

“Since government and the economics profession are largely abdicating leadership, civil society must step forward to lead.” — Richard Heinberg

Climate Change - Senior Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute, Richard Heinberg

A Senior Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute, Richard Heinberg is an American journalist and educator specialized in energy, economic, and ecological issues. Heinberg also serves on the advisory board of The Climate Mobilization, a grassroots advocacy group calling for a national economic mobilization against climate change with the goal of 100% clean energy and net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2025.


Richard Heinberg on Climate Change

What do you think is the role of the civil society in this race to a zero carbon economy?

Since government and the economics profession are largely abdicating leadership, civil society must step forward to lead. We see this, for example, with the Transition Towns movement.

As populism in spreading all over Europe, and more and more candidates being openly skeptical about climate change, how do we convince the people who vote for them that climate change is actually the most important topic today?

Public rejection of climate science is not driving the success of right-wing populism. Instead, the far-right populists are riding a wave of public anxiety about slowing economic growth, globalization (job competition from overseas), and immigration (job competition at home). The incumbent centrist politicians have opened the door to this kind of challenge by refusing to acknowledge the end of growth and by not suggesting sensible policies for adapting to it. The far-right populists promise to return nations to the good old days — the days of greater job security, easy economic growth, and more cultural homogeneity — and they understand that fossil fuels were key to economic expansion during the growth era. Therefore they tend to deny climate science so that they can promote more fossil fuel use and promise more growth. But it’s all a cynical ruse that is bound to fail spectacularly. The days of easy conventional fossil fuels and rapid economic growth are over, regardless of government policies.

Here in the U.S., most people still believe the climate scientists, even if those same people voted for Donald Trump. The problem is that people are increasingly desperate and they sense that the centrist politicians have lied to them. They want a significant change of direction, and the far-right populists at least promise to shake things up.

What will your next book about?

My next book will be a very short overview of what every thinking person needs to understand in order to survive and navigate the remainder of the twenty-first century.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Don’t despair! We need thinking, caring people to work together as never before! But it is important that everyone understand that our common enemy is actually the fossil fuel-centered, growthist, consumerist way of life that we created in the twentieth century.

If we agree on that, then there are lots of things we can begin to do to change the situation for the better. But without that core understanding, a lot of otherwise well-intended effort can be spent in ways that actually just make us worse off in the long run.

Read the entire interview here.

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Hawaii to Hit 100% Renewable Energy by 2045

Electric companies in Hawaii propose cleaner path to 100 percent clean energy

With up to $3.7 billion estimated customer savings and 8 million fewer barrels of oil imported annually (starting in 2021) greenhouse gas emissions will drop in Hawaii by four million tons per year. Transition to 100% renewable energy by 2045 in the Aloha State will result in lower healthcare costs, lower infrastructure maintenance costs, improved quality of life for residents and clearer outdoor photographs for tourists.

Many Hawaiians believe that the state can hit that goal by 2045 because the islands are renewable energy leaders now, with many solar, wind, and even some experimental OTEC (Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion) power generation stations.Continue reading Hawaii to Hit 100% Renewable Energy by 2045

San Diego Targets 100% Renewable Energy by 2035

San Diego has outlined a plan to run on 100% renewable energy by 2035

The southern California city is moving forward with an ambitious plan to run on 100% renewable energy and cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2035 and it’s doing so in a bipartisan manner.

  • The California city of San Diego announced it plans to run on 100% renewable energy (solar and wind) by the year 2035.
  • San Diego, second for the third year in a row with 189 MW, has set a target of 100% renewable energy use citywide by 2035.
  • Of the 1,000 cities committed to 100% renewable energy, San Diego is a leader, with a target of 2035, and its mayor is a Republican.
  • San Diego is the largest American municipality to make a legally binding pledge to use 100% renewable energy.

Continue reading San Diego Targets 100% Renewable Energy by 2035