Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Computer Giants Top EPA Green Power List 

The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Green Power Partnership released its quarterly Green Power list with the updated rankings of organizations choosing to go green. 

This past Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Green Power Partnership released its quarterly Green Power list with the updated rankings of organizations choosing to go green. The list focuses on the top 50 companies that are selecting clean and renewable energy sources, defined by the EPA as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, eligible biomass, and low-impact small hydroelectric sources.

Currently leading the National Top 50 list is Intel Corporation, which gets 100 percent of its electricity from renewables. The company's annual green power usage is more than 3.1 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) and its renewable resources include biogas, biomass, small-hydro, solar, and wind.

"Intel's renewable energy efforts are meant to spur the market and make renewables cheaper and more accessible," remarked Marty Sedler, Intel Corporation. "Intel's REC purchases, support for solar installations and other clean energy investments will continue to be priorities for us, as we search for effective sustainable opportunities around the globe."

Closely behind Intel is Microsoft Corporation. The Redmond, Wash.-based tech giant has increased its green power usage – a mix of solar, wind, biomass and small-hydro power – to more than 1.9 billion kWh a year, comprising 80 percent of its total electricity usage.

Apple Inc., which first cracked the list in April, has held onto its number 10 position with an annual green power usage of 537 million kWh. The computer and smartphone maker powers 85 percent of its nationwide electricity with green power, including solar, wind, biomass and small-hydro. While Apple ranks tenth on the national top 50 list, the company ranks third on the Top 20 On-site Generation list, and is impressively the only "Technology & Telecom" entrant to make the cut.

While the green Top 50 list does a great job of showing who the top players are in utilizing green power, it only includes organizations who have joined the EPA's Green Power Partnership. So you won't find Google and Facebook on the list, even though they are both leaders in the green datacenter space.

The Green Power Partnership currently has more than 1,500 partners, including enterprises large and small, the tech sector, government entities as well as colleges and universities. Collectively, these groups are using more than 28 billion kWh of green power annually, equivalent to the annual carbon dioxide emissions from electricity use of more than three million average American homes.

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