Commitment to Renewable Energy Creates Ripple in Power Industry
One recent evening while I was watching a Milwaukee Brewers game on YouTube TV via my Roku, my wife was shuffling through her newspapers. Yes, my wife is one of the 10 percent of people who actually has a daily subscription to our local newspaper. Her reasoning is that as a marketing professional she needs to stay on top of all types of news mediums. During that process of flipping through the inked up paper she said, “Here’s an interesting article about renewable energy; would you like to read it?” The title of the article caught my attention: “Tech Firms Like Google, Amazon Push Power Companies Toward Solar and Wind” (USA Today).
The article highlights how large consumers of energy, such as cloud storage data companies, have made commitments to power their facilities utilizing renewable energy, largely to create a positive public image. It notes that last year, the top four corporate users of renewable energy in the world were Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple.
This commitment to renewable energy has created a ripple effect through the power industry. Where power companies once turned their backs on renewables, they are now feeling the pressure to rethink how they create, store, sell and buy power. These are not federal or state mandates that power companies are trying to comply with; these are goals established in board rooms across the country, committed to reducing corporate America’s carbon footprint.
To stay relevant and retain a competitive advantage, power companies are developing or buying renewable assets such as solar and wind, or changing their net metering regulations to promote more self-development of renewable energy. This has opened the door for many smaller commercial and industrial companies that have carbon footprint goals to have a say in how and when they want to use renewable energy. This may consist of installing a small solar array to provide power to certain systems during the day, or building a microgrid that will allow them to produce and manage their own power consumption 24 hours a day, and even selling power back to the grid. If these smaller companies are producing power and putting it back on the grid for general consumption, the power company can claim and promote that as part of their renewable energy portfolio. This becomes a win for all involved.
To meet this demand, Faith Technologies has also evolved to include energy as a service. With this expanded service offering, Faith can provide energy solutions to our customers, including engineering and building on-site renewables such as solar with battery storage, or development of a microgrid using onsite power generation such as a combined heat and power unit. Faith can also provide leasing or financing solutions to minimize the capital requirements.
I know my wife doesn’t want to hear it, but there will be a day when the daily paper will cease to exist. The expansion and ramp up of digital media and cloud computing is expanding exponentially, and even though that information will now reside on the cloud, it needs thousands of megawatts of power to process all of the data at the speed we want it.
Similar to how we receive our news, watch our sports, and communicate with our friends and family, corporate America is setting the course with innovation and responding to customer demands. The choices are to sit on the sidelines and not change with the times, or change your model to respond to these demands.