Google’s clean energy investments, now topping $1 billion since 2010, illustrate that corporations can play an important role in providing a new and much needed source of capital to the renewable energy sector. Google’s continued strong leadership in making clean energy investments has not only driven significant deployments of renewable energy, but also enhanced its standing as a credible corporate advocate for stronger clean energy and climate policies.
Google continues to retain the top ranking for policy advocacy, challenging the IT sector to work with them to help bring more renewable energy on the grid. Google has remained active in pushing government decision-makers for policies that will support energy efficiency and renewable energy investment, particularly in the U.S. As Google is rapidly expanding outside of the US as well, most recently in Asia and Latin America, it will be critical to the company’s 100% renewable energy goal that it brings the same combination of investment and policy advocacy to bear in these expanding markets. Google can also bring that combination to bear in specific regions of the U.S. where it has data centres but faces monopoly utility companies who offer little in the way of renewable energy to its customers, such as Duke Energy in the Southeastern U.S.
Google’s decision to grant USD 2.5 million to support “intelligent” energy policy reforms sets an important example to other IT companies, and will hopefully help set the right policy conditions for Google and other IT companies to help save energy through IT-enabled energy management tools. While Google’s commitment to advancing renewable energy remains strong, it has made only modest progress in demonstrating how its products and services can help save energy or reduce greenhouse gases for its customers.
Google's performance in detail: Download the company’s Scorecard here