GM is pledging to meet its electricity needs at all of its global operations with renewable energy – such as wind, sun and landfill gas – by 2050. The company’s global renewable energy manager, Rob Threlkeld, answers some questions about the company’s 100 percent renewable energy plans and what it will take to achieve its goal.
How does GM define this commitment? What does it mean to be 100 percent renewable?
Investments in renewable energy have reached record levels and added capacity has set new highs, while costs have fallen. Last year, $286 billion was invested in renewable sources. That’s three percent higher than the previous record in 2011, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.
Although many would like to see a 100 percent solar transition, a less "painful" path will likely involve biomass, wind and other renewable technologies for many years to come.
Although solar electricity and wind energy are growing by leaps and bounds, they only provide a tiny fraction of today’s electrical demand. As global supplies of fossil fuel resources decline and as concern over global climate change increases, however, solar electric systems could become a major source of electricity, along with wind and a host of other renewable energy technologies. But is there enough solar energy to produce enough electricity to meet our needs?
Our customers need local solutions to help Britain reduce its CO2 emissions while fulfilling increased demand for energy. Siemens' world-class blade factory in Hull will help to create clean energy using local content and skills.
Chloe was working in Congleton when she applied for a Siemens European Apprenticeship. Three years and a degree in mechatronics later, she has the skills needed to bring a rotor blade from concept to execution.
In May, Whirlpool Corporation announced plans to build wind turbines to help power its Marion and Ottawa plants in Ohio, a $13.5 million total investment that builds upon the company's 46 year commitment to advances in sustainable manufacturing. Watch how these turbines are being installed, and how they’re helping Whirlpool Corporation generate clean energy across its supply chain.
Cutting-edge communications technology will make wind farms more profitable and the transition to a renewable energy economy more economical. That’s why Siemens is taking part in an EU-funded research project called VirtuWind. The project is designed to cut procurement costs for a wind farm’s control network by 25 percent and operating costs by 10 percent annually.
A new offshore wind turbine from Siemens is set to lower the cost of wind power generated on the high seas. Siemens believes it is well on the way to reaching its goal of producing offshore wind energy at a total cost of less than ten euro cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) by 2020. In fact, it expects that generation costs for offshore wind power plants will decline to less than eight cents per kWh by 2025. Siemens and other companies in the wind energy business agreed on this target at the beginning of June 2016.
Siemens has been awarded a contract to supply, install and commission 32 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 3.2 megawatts and a rotor diameter of 113 meters, for the Hornsdale Stage 2 onshore wind farm in South Australia. Stage 2 is an addition to the Hornsdale Stage 1 wind farm project, for which Siemens has signed a contract in August 2015. The Customer for both wind power plants is Neoen Australia, a business of the French company Neoen.
By implementing responsible practices and cutting edge technologies, we can reduce our natural resource consumption and improve the experience of our guests and Team Members.
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Our safeguarding of natural resources, such as energy and water, is the cornerstone of our environmentally responsible operations. Years of conservation experience have enabled us to establish a robust energy management process, through which we set annual reduction goals for our properties based on five-year emissions targets. The sustainability and facilities teams research new ideas and test available technologies to identify conservation opportunities, subsequently managing their implementation and evaluating performance.