Energy / Renewable Energy

Tech firms like Google, Amazon push power companies toward solar and wind, a blow to coal

SAN FRANCISCO, CA  — “Every time you save a photo to the cloud, buy something on Amazon, open a Google doc or stream a movie, you’re probably pulling electricity from a wind turbine in Texas or a solar farm in Virginia.

In fact, your clicks and taps may have helped build them.

Since 2008, renewable energy has gone from 9% to 18% of the U.S. energy mix, according to the Business Council for Sustainable Energy. A big part of that shift stems from tech companies’ rapid buildout of cloud storage centers and a move to burnish their public image by vowing they’ll run these centers on sources like wind and solar.

Rather than lose these deep-pocketed customers, the nation’s power companies are changing policies and crafting deals that meet increased demands for renewable energy, in some cases shifting away from traditional electricity supplies like coal and natural gas. Even in coal mining states like West Virginia.”

— Elizabeth Weise, USA Today

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