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Will renewable energy power the future?

Alphabet’s (NYSE: GOOGL) subsidiary Google just increased its commitment to renewable energy. The company has purchased a 1,600MW package of agreements that includes 18 new energy deals, which will increase its global portfolio of wind and solar agreements by over 40% to 5,500MW.  

In 2017 and 2018, the company managed to match its entire annual electricity consumption with renewable energy, thus becoming the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in the world.  

First Solar Q2 2019 Earnings
Photo by Zbynek Burival on Unsplash

The company’s new agreements will drive the construction of energy infrastructure worth over $2 billion, including solar panels and wind turbines. The 18 deals include investments in the US, Europe and Chile. The deal in Chile includes a hybrid technology deal that combines solar and wind.

Google is not the only major corporation that is increasing its investment in renewable energy. A number of companies, including Budweiser, Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) and MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM), have invested in solar and wind energy, increasing their spend by 13% to more than $16 billion last year. This growth is expected to double in 2019.

The US Energy Information Administration forecasts that energy resources such as solar and wind will be the fastest-growing source of electricity generation in the US over the next two years. The EIA estimates electricity generation from utility-scale solar generating units to increase by 10% in 2019 and by 17% in 2020. Wind generation is expected to grow by 12% in 2019 and 14% in 2020.

Also read: JinkoSolar Q2 2019 Earnings Report

The report by EIA states that the industry plans to bring around 11GW of wind capacity online in 2019 and another 8GW in 2020. Solar capacity is expected to increase by over 4GW in 2019 and almost 6GW in 2020.

A report by Deloitte suggests that taxes and trade policies could create headwinds for the growth of the renewable energy sector in 2019. Despite this, new initiatives at the state and federal level could drive renewable energy growth. The increasing investments in renewable energy by corporates as well as advancement in technologies are also factors that could help push growth.

All in all, it does appear that we are slowly moving towards a future where renewable energy sources will play an important role.

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