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The tech industry has been massively contributing to climate change with its use of non-renewable energy for years. That could all change, however, as technology firms across the board are beginning to adopt clean energy.
A greener Britain
Britain's startup scene is leading the mainstream push towards green energy. The UK government has announced plans for a £40m venture capital fund to support clean energy tech companies. This week, Britain's clean growth minister Claire Perry said "for decades the UK has been recognised as a leading financial centre." She added that the government is "primed to enhance" Britain's "world-leading green finance sector, making sure the bulk of this investment flows through the city of London." According to Patrick Sheehan, managing partner at energy venture capital ETF partners, the tech industry is more than ready to go green. Sheehan insists that this is due to increased consumer demand and reduced costs of clean energy and data processing.
The green startups
Upside Energy uses algorithms and AI to create a virtual power plant in order to meet peak demands by using unused energy from green resources. The startup struck a deal earlier this week with energy giant EDF. The London-based tech startup Origami Energy is a platform provider for energy markets. It provides real-time monitoring, intelligent control and optimal use of energy assets, and has generated £35.8m in funding already. Britain's fastest growing energy company Bulb could benefit from a sharing platform such as this. The startup has raised an incredibly £60m in funding and plans to launch a flexible tariff to enable customers to avoid peak energy hours and receive cheaper energy as a result.
21 tech companies pledge to reduce their emissions by 2020
Last month, the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) in California saw 21 tech firms, led by Salesforce, pledge to decrease their emissions with Christiana Figueres’ Mission2020 group. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said, “We have to have a big tent — including business, governments, NGOs, and activists." 21 companies including Uber, Bloomberg, HP, and BT signed the aptly named “Step Up Declaration.” The pledge is a dedication to “harnessing the power of emerging technologies and the fourth industrial revolution to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions across all economic sectors by 2020.”