Can Southeast Asia quench corporate thirst for renewable energy?

(Eco Business, 31 Oct 2019) The desire of corporate giants to become 100 per cent renewable is driving clean energy investment and fuelling the energy transition worldwide. As businesses set their sights on greening their operations in Southeast Asia, can the region meet businesses’ clean energy needs?

From Google’s latest purchase of a 1600 megawatt (MW) package of clean energy deals—its largest renewables buy to date—to Microsoft and Facebook’s major solar energy contracts in Southeast Asia, it seems that corporate thirst for renewable energy is growing in the world of big tech. 

Tech giants have notably led the corporate charge towards clean energy, with both Google and Apple meeting targets to become 100 per cent renewables-powered across their global offices and energy guzzling data centres last year.

According to data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), global renewable energy procurement more than doubled from 2017 to 2018, with Google racing to the top as the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy this year.

Similarly, other members of RE100, a club of companies that have pledged to use only renewable energy to power their operations, have signed long term contracts and invested in clean energy projects in recent years to meet climate commitments while expanding their operations worldwide.

Last year, Google announced that it is building its third data centre in Singapore to meet rapid user growth in Southeast Asia, while Facebook has revealed that it will build the largest data centre in the city-state powered fully by renewable energy.

Set to launch in 2022, Facebook’s first data centre in the region will incorporate a megawatt of solar on the centre’s roof and generate 50 MW of electricity from 900 rooftop photovoltaic systems across the country through a 20-year power purchasing agreement (PPA) with local utilities company Sembcorp.

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Eco Business, 31 Oct 2019: Can Southeast Asia quench corporate thirst for renewable energy?