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Home / Solar Power / Buffett wants 100% renewables because Google and Microsoft want 100%

“We don’t have a single customer saying, ‘Will you build us a 100 percent coal plant?”

When it comes to corporate america – the emotions are focused on profits and losses. Not because capitalism is evil, not because people are money hungry – but because profits feed people, and people who are fed come into work every single day. With that – we’re now seeing utilities, independent of state level requirements, setting a goal of generating 100% renewables. They’re doing it partially because Corporate America demands it. And you know why Corporate America wants it? Because you want it.

Warren Buffett’s electricity utilities – owned by Berkshire Hathewayown resources based in the Midwest – areas that produce much of the coal the United States depends on. Yet even in these places, Wyoming in particular that is truly dependent on the resource, we’re building massive wind farms to take advantage of the great plains. These farms are delivering electricity at some of the cheapest rates on the planet.

SOURCE: In Iowa, MidAmerican operates 4,400 megawatts of wind farms, having invested $7.5 billion, and the utility plans to add 1,600 megawatts of wind. By 2020, MidAmerican plans to produce enough renewable energy, primarily wind, to match 95 percent of its Iowa customers’ needs. The push for renewables in Iowa makes a difference, as the state continues to rely on coal as the primary fuel for generating electricity, at more than 45 percent, while wind supplies 37 percent, and solar panels produce less than 1 percent, according to the U.S. Energy Department. The increase in renewables won’t result in rate increases for utility customers, Weisgall said, even though the utility will be paying almost $2 billion over the next 30 years in landowner payments and taxes.

 

By John Fitzgerald Weaver

John Fitzgerald Weaver is a solar developer; known digitally as the 'Commercial Solar Guy.' As a project developer and installer, he’s sold and managed 50+ solar projects, valued over $25 million, ranging in size from 5kW to 1500kW. He’s been involved in many aspects of the solar supply chain –- as a company founder, developer, project manager, manufacturer, permit runner, salesman, contractor and financier. In his free time he tries to get away and clear his mind by climbing mountains, or more regularly by enjoying an IPA or scotch, and really loves the strange connection between politics, energy, finance, and environment in the energy world.

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