Intel biggest user of clean energy in the US – report

30 Jan 2014

Chip maker Intel is, by a considerable margin, the largest consumer of green energy in the US, covering 100pc of its entire energy use, a report conducted by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reveals.

The figures show that as of 8 January, Intel used just over 3.1bn kWh of renewable energy from multiple fields of clean tech, including biogas, biomass, small hydro, solar and wind.

This is achieved through a combination of third-party providers and on-site generation.

Most impressively, the company can attest to 100pc of its energy used as coming from a renewable source, making it a member of the EPA’s highly-coveted ‘100 club’.

Second in the list is fellow tech giant Microsoft, which accounts for 1.9bn kWh using biomass, small hydro, solar and wind.

While not as high as Intel’s percentage of clean energy used, Microsoft comes in at a pretty respectable 80pc of total energy output.

Percentage versus energy used

While the amount of energy used by companies is obviously an important figure, the key statistic to be found from these results is the overall percentage of renewable energy used over non-renewable energy.

For example, Google, in sixth place as the biggest user of green energy, actually has a considerably lower overall percentage of green energy usage, 32pc, of its overall output of 737.3m kWh.

Meanwhile, Apple, in 11th place, accounts 85pc of its 537.4m kWh as renewably sourced.

Walmart, placed fifth in the overall rankings, is a perfect example of how one figure trumps another, giving an indicator of the scale of the mega-mart chain. By consuming 751.4m kWh last year, the chain covered only a meagre 4pc of its overall output with renewable energy, which would indicate that with greater investment, it could easily join the ‘100 club’.

Ironically, another poor consumer of renewable energy is the US Department of Energy, which accounts only 14pc of its energy from renewable sources.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic