ImageKaiser Medical Center in Santa Clara
Two corporate giants have announced substantial investments in renewable energy.  Google invested $39 million in a North Dakota wind farm.  Google.org has, in the past, invested in solar thermal and geothermal, but this is the first (though surely not the last) time the company is making a direct renewable energy investment out of its corporate treasury.

Meanwhile, HMO giant Kaiser Permanente is installing solar panels on 15 of its California facilities in pursuit of its goal of obtaining 25% of its power from renewable sources by 2020.  Kaiser expects that the $96 million power purchase agreeement will, ultimately, cost less than what the company would otherwise pay for electricity over the life of the contract.

When name-brand, highly profitable businesses like Google and Kaiser invest in renewable energy, their motivations are financial, not philanthropic.  These companies are among the first to recognize what Sungevity customers already know–switching over to renewable energy is a wise financial strategy that benefits the bottom-line just as much as it benefits the planet.  It’s not about greenwashing, it’s about preparing for a post-carbon economy.  Now that’s what I’m talking about.

–Erica Etelson

Posted by Danny Kennedy

Danny Kennedy co-founded Sungevity and now serves as strategic advisor. He is an internationally recognized opinion leader on climate and energy issues. He is the author of Rooftop Revolution: How Solar Power Can Save Our Economy - and Planet - from Dirty Energy (2012), a book that has been described as the clean energy manifesto for the next greatest generation.