Why Billionaires Invest in Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy: Billionaires Love it!

Written by Brian Hicks
Posted July 28, 2015

bigcoAs a renewable energy investor, my confidence is often bolstered by the ever-increasing demand for cleaner energy technologies.

As production costs for cleaner forms of energy continue to plummet, demand continues to rise.

It’s pretty simple, really …

Even the fools and haters who get off on mocking the folks who think we shouldn’t treat our planet like a toilet can’t deny that when it comes down to cost - renewables are simply superior to fossil fuels and nuclear.

Sure, they’ll kick, scream and fight every step of the way, but eventually, they’ll get tired of swimming upstream against the current of progress, particularly because it’s this progress that will ultiamately allow them to fatten their wallets.

However, there’s something else that often gives me confidence that my decision to invest in cleaner energy is the right one - from an economic perspective.

Billionaires are doing it, too!

In a new report just published by the good folks over at NextGen Climate, researchers identify three companies that are aggressively transitioning to cleaner energy.

The title of the report is, The Economic Case for Clean Energy, and on page 11, you will find the following …

There is a growing trend among U.S. companies, even those whose primary focus is not energy, to supply more of their energy needs with clean sources. This is not just because they want clean energy, but also because it makes financial sense. According to Ceres and Calvert Investments, 60 percent of Fortune 100 and Global 100 firms have a renewable energy target, a greenhouse gas reduction target, or both. Here are just a few examples:

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is an international leader in renewable energy use, powering 100 percent of its U.S. data centers with renewables, and owning or operating several large solar installations in the United States and abroad. Earlier in 2015, Apple signed the largest commercial solar purchase in the United States, investing in a 280 MW California facility that will complete its goal of 100 percent renewable energy y for all its facilities.

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) is another renewable energy leader whose energy investments align with the company’s mission to accelerate renewables. Google met 34 percent of its facilities’ needs from renewables last year, and has its own commitment to reach 100 percent. In addition to its own energy needs, Google also invests heavily in renewable power projects in the United States and around the world — it has devoted more than $2 billion so far to 19 projects.

Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) has also committed to powering its data centers from 100 percent renewable energy, with an interim goal of 50 percent by the end of 2018. In a typical example, one of its recent data centers (in Altoona, Iowa) was co-developed with a 140 MW wind farm that Facebook sponsored nearby.

Despite the fact that renewable energy integration continues to grow at light speed, there are still those who can’t accept the fact that the new global energy economy will be heavily weighted in renewables. These are the folks who always want to create the illusion that renewable energy isn’t “ready for prime time” or “economically viable.”

But here’s the thing …

If Apple, Google, and Facebook are transitioning their operations to run primarily on renewable energy, then there must be something to it. I would also add that while these three companies are highlighted in the report, they are just three of thousands of other companies that are aggressively transitioning to cleaner energy. Others include …

  • Walmart (NYSE: WMT)
  • IKEA
  • BMW
  • Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO)
  • eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY)
  • Kohls (NYSE: KSS)
  • Volkswagen
  • Costo (NASDAQ: COST)

I’m pretty sure that hostile Internet trolls and the plastic faces of mainstream media who constantly bash renewable energy aren’t as smart as the folks running these companies.

So the next time you’re faced with an annoying little knuckle-dragging, fossil fuel zealot in attack mode, don’t get mad, just laugh. Because at this point, any effort to stop the full-scale integration of renewable energy will fall flat. And quite frankly, watching these folks trying to fight the good fight has just become comical. A little sad, too. But ultimately, just really, really funny.