List of tech companies targeting 100% renewables energy grows.

Guardian: “Software giant SAP plans to figuratively power its operations worldwide with 100% renewable electricity by the end of this year, according to its sustainability report released today.”
“The company plans to buy renewable energy credits to achieve that goal, which is arguably the easiest and cheapest way to do it. This isn’t the first time SAP has bought credits: it has been doing so since 2009, when it announced a plan to lower its carbon footprint to the 2000 levels by 2020.
….The software maker joins other big companies, such as Google, Apple and Walmart, in setting a 100% renewable energy goal. But depending on the path a company takes, that goal can be quite difficult to achieve.
There are three main ways for a company to boost its green power profile: buying credits, signing power purchase agreements, or installing solar power, wind power or other renewables onsite.
As more companies seek to show their sustainability commitments, a debate has emerged over which approach creates the biggest environmental impact. Some companies are leveraging power purchase agreements and their own renewable-energy projects to pressure utilities to invest in renewable energy risk losing more company business.
When a company buys credits, it’s essentially buying a project’s green attributes instead of the energy itself. The purchase helps support the project financially, and is cheaper than the other two options. But critics say the quality of projects varies widely, and these credits typically don’t reduce the fossil-fuel power the company is actually using.
Meanwhile, with power purchase agreements, companies agree to buy power from the owner of a renewable-energy project. The electricity is either delivered directly to companies’ facilities or, more likely, injected into the local grid to increase the amount of clean electricity in the power supply.
A company that buys electricity directly can ensure that it’s helping to displace fossil fuels with renewable energy in its local grid and can help increase clean-energy projects locally, either via utility or independent power producer.
Google has done this, for example, to ensure that its data centers are drawing electricity from a cleaner grid. A power purchase agreement typically runs for around 20 years, so it takes more commitment and money from the buyer.
….Meanwhile, renewable energy proponents are pushing tech giants to go beyond buying credits. Power purchase agreements and onsite generation could persuade utilities to produce or buy more renewable energy in order to attract big customers.
Google pushed Duke Energy to do just that in North Carolina. And there’s some evidence the strategy may be working: last November,Duke asked the state utility regulators for permission to sell clean power to corporate customers. It didn’t hurt that another big corporate customer in the state, Apple, decided to build two solar farms – each with a capacity of 20 megawatts – close to its data center. The electricity from those farms flow into the local grid.”