When business unplugs from the grid, can utilities survive?
When Apple built a 20MW solar power plant at a data center in North Carolina, the project didn’t just slash their own emissions — it helped change the relationship between utilities and their corporate customers. In fact, Greenpeace credits the array with spurring a statewide shift toward cleaner energy:
After Apple began investing in renewable energy in North Carolina, their example (as well as pressure from other clean energy leaders in the state like Google and Facebook) helped push Duke Energy to announce a new program to sell renewable energy to big electricity customers.
It’s not just the tech industry which is embracing clean energy. Walmart has been rolling out solar on hundreds of stores. Ikea UK has been buying up entire wind farms in its bid to go 100 percent renewable. And car makers are increasingly greening their manufacturing plants, installing solar power and wind turbines as part of the process.
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