The Grid: Keep your renewable energy brand powered and connected.

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  • May 9, 2018
  • INK Team

After over a decade in green biz, INK is sharing our first installment of The Grid: a monthly round-up of the top renewable energy news. Two of INK’s clean energy buffs, Mallory Baker and Mya Wilkes, will get you caught up on what you missed this month and highlight ways you can leverage the news to grow your brand. Welcome to The Grid.

#Breaking, the biggest brands are going green

What do Apple, Google, Anheuser-Busch, Bloomberg, and General Motors all have in common (well, besides being some of the biggest companies in the U.S.)? All of these heavy hitters announced major renewable energy purchases in April. In the first months of 2018, the renewable energy industry has been saturated with stories about commercial and industrial (C&I) companies tweeting #tbt about their fossil fuel consumption while signing contracts for wind and solar. And this trend is not just for the Fortune 500s, as mid-size enterprises continue to make waves with their sustainability efforts as well.

With the growing popularity of power purchase agreements (PPAs), companies are flocking to renewables because of the promise of no or low upfront capital costs, reduced energy costs, and limited risk. Unfamiliar with this hot trend in renewables financing? Check out this great rundown from the Solar Energy Industries Association. The host of news that has come out of these new deals reaffirm that while the federal government is busy trying to revive coal, America’s Fortune 500s are ensuring that there’s no loss in renewables’ U.S. momentum.

Our thoughts:

There’s no sign that this trend will be slowing down any time soon, and neither will the coverage around it. ”Going green” news is as great for the environment as it is for brands, as over 80% of consumers globally say they seek out responsible companies whenever possible. However, we are seeing that this storyline isn’t doing as much to push the needle when it comes to widespread renewables adoption. If we really want to make a difference in public perception, there needs to be a major shift of focus to the positive financial and economic aspects of these stories, since these are the messages that will spur investment and policy change. Basically, if Al Gore is doing it, so should you.

Renewable energy news: Top global corporate buyers of renewable energy as of March 2018

#Trending, the industry gathers for Bloomberg’s energy summit

Did you notice more images of Rick Perry and Robert Murray in your feeds than usual last month? You were likely seeing the chatter from energy leaders and media as they met in New York for Bloomberg’s The Future of Energy Global Summit, where Perry and Murray took center stage.

Didn’t get an invite? No need to trawl the hashtag. Here’s our recap:

  • As big brands check “100% renewable” off their to-do lists, they’re looking ahead to what’s next.
  • Alternative and traditional energy giants alike agree that we’re headed toward a clean energy future, supported by cutting edge technology.
    • Michael Bloomberg (and friends) announced an initiative to expedite the eradication of global coal mining.
    • Utility giant Southern Company is embracing technology solutions that will bring them to “low to no-carbon” emissions by 2050.
    • Ten incredibly cool green tech innovators were named Bloomberg’s 2018 New Energy Pioneers.
  • Even still, fossil fuels had a moment.

Takeaways:

Green tech, especially digital technology and software, is on everyone’s mind. Utilities, private companies, media, investors, and stakeholders of all kinds are highly motivated to learn more about the solutions on the market. In other words: The stampede is coming, so make sure your branding, positioning and differentiators, SEO and public relations ducks are in a row.

#FYI, new tool alert

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has released the most comprehensive publicly available database yet of U.S. wind turbine locations and characteristics. The United States Wind Turbine Database (USWTDB) contains more than 57,000 turbines in more than 1,700 projects spanning 43 states, plus Puerto Rico and Guam. Use this tool to check out the existing wind farms in a new region for your company, or to predict any government agencies’ planning decisions that might impact your projects.

TL; DR:

The wind turbine database is our favorite way to geek out right now. Check it out here.

Renewable energy news: The United States Wind Turbine Database (USWTDB) contains more than 57,000 turbines in more than 1,700 projects spanning 43 states, plus Puerto Rico and Guam

Can’t get enough? More favorite finds from #Energy Twitter

Earther – Avengers: Infinity War Shows a Dark Side of Environmentalism

Energy Manager Today – IHS Markit Ranks US Energy Storage Suppliers

Greentech Media – Design for 50MW Offshore Wind Turbine Inspired by Hurricane-Resilient Palm Trees

Solar Power World – SEIA’s brand new Solar Means Business 2017 report

Stay tuned for more renewable energy news from The Grid at the beginning of every month. In the meantime, check out INK’s clean energy blog posts and podcasts for even more insights. Know of a news story or trend we should include in the next edition? Let us know! You can find us anywhere on social media at @heyINKco.

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