New Zealand is strongly focused on obtaining its energy from renewable sources like hydropower and geothermal power. Around 40% of New Zealand’s primary energy comes from it and 80% of all electricity in the country utilises green energy.
This is only the beginning – a national target of 90% renewable electricity usage is mapped out as achievable by 2025. Are NZ tech companies on board with this? Or are they lagging behind the lead set by the tech giants in America?
What U.S. Tech Giants are Doing to Spur on Change
Utilities have always been a solid investment in the States. The news that tech companies are committed to not just changing to clean energy, but actually building the wind and solar farms to run their cloud storage centres off, has sent shares in more traditional electricity suppliers like natural gas and coal into a slump.
The Big Tech Four – Google, Microsoft, Apple and Amazon, are listed as the biggest users of renewable energy in the world. Google recently announced that all its data centres and facilities are running on 100% clean energy.
This change up very much fits in with the ethos of the founders of these companies. They come from the generation who was anti-war and anti-mother-nature abuse. Their mind-set has helped shape the American energy mix from 9% green energy in 2009 to a fairly healthy 18% now.
This established ideology has had a knock-on effect with other businesses. The tech giants are insisting that their suppliers use renewable energy too. Apple uses 100% green energy for its facilities and data centres and almost 24 of its manufacturers have made the change in order to maintain a good relationship with Apple.
How Many Kiwi Tech Companies Use Green Energy?
The burning question is – do New Zealand tech companies need to make such a grand statement as their American counterparts when New Zealand in its entirety is doing so much to go green? It may be that because of the percentage figures stated at the beginning of this article, that Kiwi companies use clean energy from renewable sources without even knowing.
Big data storage facilities for companies like Xero and Datacom use a lot of energy. If they made the push to spend some of their profits on assisting the country’s change to renewable energy, for example, establishing a purpose-driven wind or solar farm, they would set a standard for others to follow.
This may be seen by watchdog groups like Greenpeace, as a more pro-active stance then simply waiting around for the government to build it.
New Zealand is one of the leading countries in clean energy usage. It would be nice if our big tech companies could say the same. Perhaps a tax break would incentivise them as their consciences are a bit slow to do it for them.