Google recognized for outstanding contributions to wind energy

We’re pleased to recognize Google for its outstanding leadership among an innovative cohort of major brands and tech companies who are already on the leading edge of renewable energy procurement.

Google is the 2016 Outstanding Contributions to Wind Energy recipient, and its leadership is helping open the market for new wind development and access to low-cost clean power for other emerging customers.

“Google is honored to receive this award, and has invested in over 2 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy projects worldwide.  None of these projects would be possible without the developers and technology providers who keep moving projects forward and driving costs down across the industry. It is a pleasure to work with such great partners in such an exciting time as we continue to push the expansion of renewables to drive decarbonization,” said John Woolard, Google’s Vice  President for Energy, when accepting the award on the company’s behalf during WINDPOWER 2016’s opening reception.

In his role at Google, John is focused on implementing the company’s global energy strategy through investment in new technology and energy projects. Previously, John served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of BrightSource Energy, Inc. from 2006 to 2013, where he led the development, construction, and commissioning of the $2.2 billion Ivanpah solar thermal power plant, the largest in the world.

Google is the world’s largest non-utility renewable energy buyer, with 16 contracts to buy over 2.2 GWof clean energy and a goal to source 100 percent renewable power. That includes wind projects in Iowa, Texas, Oklahoma, California, and Kansas. In total, Google has invested nearly $2.5 billion in clean energy projects.

During the last several quarters, there has been a regular drumbeat of major brands and tech companies joining other emerging buyers to drive a new and rapidly growing market for wind power. At 52 percent, over half of contracted wind capacity was signed for by corporate buyers for the first time in 2015 – that compares to a five percent share in 2013. With companies like Google taking the lead, that share is certain to keep steady and growing.