The company is collaborating with big name partners in a bid to encourage the use of renewable energy and create enough to replace coal plants in the U.S.
Microsoft has announced a new environmental initiative that will see the company collaborate with brand giants like Honda and Facebook. The companies will partner with The Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance to promote the benefits of renewable energy for consumers and enterprise.
The group has set out an ambitious plan to create 60 gigawatts of renewably sourced energy by 2025, which would be “enough to replace all the coal-fired power plants in the U.S. expected to retire in the next four years”.
In its part of the group, Microsoft will be involved with dozens of big name companies, and the idea is that the weight of influence exerted by the companies can help businesses who face stumbling blocks from regulators and utility companies. The collaboration will help smaller businesses find renewable energy solutions, according to Brian Janous, Director of Sustainability at Microsoft.
“Much of the activity so far has been in the form of PPAs and that's an efficient way to secure renewable energy, but it's challenging for small companies. We have a long way to go, and the only way we're going to get there is collaboration. We need utilities to come in as aggregators and provide new opportunities.” said Janous on a conference call on Thursday.
Microsoft is leading the companies and will host a meeting at its Redmond, Washington headquarters next week, where the group will discuss strategy for working with utility companies to offer more renewably sourced energy.
The current model sees businesses needing to go directly to suppliers of renewable energy and not to a utility company, and these sources can be hard to find. This is especially the case for smaller businesses, Microsoft added in the call.