Facebook Will Power Itself With 100% Renewable Energy By 2020

Facebook has announced a commitment to power its global operations with 100 per cent renewables and reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions 75 per cent by the end of 2020.

In 2015, Facebook set a goal of supporting 50 per cent of its facilities with renewables by 2018. The company has achieved that goal a year early, reaching 51 per cent clean and renewable energy in 2017.

The company is behind others in the tech industry – Google reached a goal to buy 100 per cent renewable electricity in 2017, and Apple made it to 100 per cent earlier this year. But Facebook is on track to be one of the largest corporate buyers of renewable energy in 2018, a year when companies have signed deals for record amounts of clean power.

Since its first purchase of wind power in 2013, Facebook has signed contracts for over 3 GW of new wind and solar energy, that includes over 2,500 MW in just the past 12 months.

Since its first purchase of wind power in 2013, Facebook has signed contracts for over 3 GW of new wind and solar energy, that includes over 2,500 MW in just the past 12 months.

“We are proud of the impact our renewable energy programme is having on local communities and the market in general. All of these wind and solar projects are new and on the same grid as our data centers. That means that each of these projects brings jobs, investment and a healthier environment to the communities that host us — from Prineville, Oregon, and Los Lunas, New Mexico, to Henrico, Virginia, and Luleå, Sweden,” the company said in a statement.

Facebook says it works to enable access to renewable energy resources for other companies and organisations by building infrastructure, opening projects to other buyers or establishing green tariffs, which allow customers to buy renewable energy from their local utilities.

Aside from helping to tick corporate CSR boxes, it also makes commercial sense for big firms to invest in renewables due to the declining costs of wind and solar power and the fact that the prices now in some markets are competitive or even lower than conventional power. Furthermore, energy purchase contracts are often long-term contracts with fixed prices and therefore they can lock in these low prices.

The likes of major corporates, such as Google and McDonalds, have been acquiring many of these PPA contracts in their bids to become carbon neutral. 

“Today, solar is on the agenda of major companies worldwide as there is now a major global pressure to do business in a sustainable way and to fulfil corporate social responsibility (CSR) duties. But it’s about more than just complying – there are financial and operational benefits to it too,” said Edurne Zoco, research director for Solar & Energy Storage at IHS Markit.

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