Thursday, February 14, 2019

Good or bad news? Google is dealing on solar/wind farms everywhere

Google (Alphabet) has been working for years to open up energy markets so they could procure their energy not from their local utility but instead from renewable energy farms. (Homeowners and small businesses can do the same through Arcadia Power.) That sounds good, right? They’re trying to run their entire, gigantic tech infrastructure on renewables, including a new deal in Taiwan.

Google is the first company to benefit from a change in the country’s [Taiwan’s] electricity laws that allows non-utility organizations to procure power directly. It took many trips to the country, by many Googlers, over the last several years to lay the groundwork for this installation, according to Michael Terrell, head of energy market development at Google, who chatted with me about the strategy.
After all, it’s impossible to cover a company’s power needs with deals in just one region or country. Plus, it should be intriguing for any company wondering how to help its supply chain procure more clean power.

But it got me thinking about where this is headed. A lot of people are okay with seeing solar panels on houses or a couple wind turbines on the serve their own needs. But how are we going to feel when one multinational after another wants to blanket our land with huge installations to serve their own needs? A big blight on your landscape, brought to you by Bayer or Amazon or BP. Isn’t this another form of imperialism?

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