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The Financial Express

Google among 24 companies that urge round-the-clock clean energy for US federal facilities


FILE PHOTO: A wind farm shares space with corn fields the day before the Iowa caucuses, where agriculture and clean energy are key issues, in Latimer, Iowa, US, February 2, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst FILE PHOTO: A wind farm shares space with corn fields the day before the Iowa caucuses, where agriculture and clean energy are key issues, in Latimer, Iowa, US, February 2, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Two dozen companies and environmental groups, including Google, urged President Joe Biden to be a “catalyst for investment” by mandating that federal facilities be powered with locally generated clean energy sources around the clock.

A goal of using only carbon-free electricity at all hours of the day would be a major step beyond the 100 per cent clean energy commitments that have become popular among corporations and governments but still include some reliance on fossil fuel-generated power that is balanced out with cleaner sources.

Google made a round-the-clock clean energy by 2030 pledge last year, meaning it must figure out how to power its data centers when the wind is not blowing or the sun is not shining, reports Reuters.

Currently, Google and many other companies rely on coal or gas-fired power plants during those hours and offset those purchases with renewables procurement -- from wind or solar farms often far from their facilities -- in an effort to be “100 per cent” clean energy compliant.

The companies and groups urged the federal government in a letter to use its purchasing heft to require carbon-free energy for all of its facilities at all hours of the day.

Such a mandate would help create a market for the technologies needed to fulfill such a goal and bring clean energy to regions that have not thus far benefited from the growth of the sector, they argued.

“Such an approach will serve as a catalyst for investment, unlocking capital and creating tens of thousands of new American jobs across the clean energy sector, as well as associated US supply chains,” they said in the letter.

In addition to Google, the letter was signed by tech companies Adobe Inc and Hewlett Packard, and power company AES Corp.

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