GM to Reach 100% Renewable Energy in the U.S. Five Years Ahead of Schedule, Citing Successful Decarbonization Efforts

(Credit: General Motors)

General Motors announced today that it will power all of its U.S. facilities with 100% renewable energy five years earlier than planned. Back in 2016, the automotive manufacturer committed to 100% renewable energy by 2050. Earlier this year, it advanced the date to 2030. This latest development nudges the date up again, this time to 2025. By accelerating its renewable energy goal, GM will avoid an estimated one million metric tons of carbon emissions between 2025 and 2030.

GM was able to expedite its decarbonization timeline due to a successful four-pillared approach:

  1.  Increasing Energy Efficiency: GM’s energy goals begin with reducing energy consumption by improving energy efficiency. For 10 years, GM has been awarded the EPA Energy Star Sustained Excellence Award for its energy efficiency efforts.
  2.  Sourcing Renewables: While it works to minimize the amount of energy required to run its facilities, GM also sources renewable energy through direct investment, green tariffs and power purchase agreements. This is the main avenue through which GM will achieve its renewable energy goal.
  3. Addressing Intermittency: GM is creating technology to store renewable energy over the medium and long term, so its power consumption is not disrupted by external fluctuations.
  4. Policy Advocacy: Policy efforts are essential to expand transmission, create microgrids that help deploy renewable energy, and enable markets to price these solutions to enable a carbon-free resilient power system. GM supports policies that enable a carbon-free, resilient power system.

To monitor its progress, GM is partnering with PJM Interconnection, a regional transmission organization, and TimberRock, a technology-enabled energy company, to track the real-time carbon emissions at GM’s facilities.

The partnership allows GM to make strategic decisions about its electricity use, for instance tapping into its battery storage capacity to power operations or reducing consumption when the power grid’s fuel mix is fossil fuel–heavy.

GM also plans to become carbon neutral in its global products and operations by 2040, aligned with its aspiration to eliminate tailpipe emissions from new light-duty vehicles by 2035. To this end, it is investing $35 billion in electric and autonomous vehicles and plans to introduce more than 30 electric vehicle models globally by 2025.

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–> This post appeared first on Environment + Energy Leader.

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