Never one to be found too far from a technology zeitgeist Google has this week announced plans to install solar panels at its Mountain View headquarters.
Writing on the Google blog, corporate environmental programs manager Robyn Beavers said 1.6 megawatt photovoltaic panels will be installed on the roofs of the four main buildings at the Googleplex and even spill out into the car park. The project is to be handled by solar technology specialist EI Solutions.
Google hopes the installation - which it claims is the largest of its type at a US corporate campus - will deliver enough electricity to power 1,000 homes and will offset around 30 percent of the campus' peak electricity needs.
Beavers was quick to stress that while the installation will help the environment, it is also a sound business investment:
"We believe that improving our environmental practices is not only our responsibility as a corporate citizen, but good business planning – a new report from the North American Electric Reliability Council suggests that demand continue to outstrip power supply by a considerable margin. And of course by saving electricity, we also save money. In fact, we believe this project demonstrates that a large investment in renewable energy can be profitable."
Some experts have warned against embracing the model until the technology's reliability is more thoroughly proven. David Vincent of the Carbon Trust recently warned IT director's would be wise to see how reliable microgeneration pilot programmes prove before using on site generators, such as wind turbines or solar panels, to power IT equipment. He said that until the technology becomes more commodotised maintaining it could place extra demands on a firm's IT or facilities department.
However, support from global brands such as Google suggests that the technology can indeed prove "profitable" and adoption rates could soon reach an inflection point as firms look to enhance their long term energy security.
Mike Turner of the Paper Cup Alliance calls on coffee chains to launch a brand blind 'cup amnesty' to get more cups to recycling plants
ASDA, Lidl, Tesco and Waitrose among more than 40 of the UK's biggest food and drink firms backing new pledge to eliminate unnecessary single-use plastics
'I believe in building a better future for our children, which requires offering them a planet that is still habitable in 25 years,' French president tells Congress, to rapturous applause
Major new study details how carbon prices across the bloc could double by 2021 if the EU moves to make emissions trading scheme compatible with the Paris Agreement