General Motors, one of the world’s largest automotive manufacturers, says that by 2050 all of its electricity will come from solar, wind, landfill gas and other renewable energy sources by 2050. Considering that in 2015 GM consumed 9 terawatt hours (9 million megawatt hours) of electricity across 350 operations in 59 countries, it’s no small feat to convert to renewable energy.
“Establishing a 100 percent renewable energy goal helps us better serve society by reducing environmental impact,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “This pursuit of renewable energy benefits our customers and communities through cleaner air while strengthening our business through lower and more stable energy costs.”
The company is also joining RE100, a collaboration of businesses across the world that have committed to sourcing 100 percent of their of their energy from renewable energy. In fact, it may be the largest consumer of electricity to join the initiative. The company said it is making the change as part of the company’s overall approach to strengthening its business, improving communities and addressing climate change. It’s also developing more electrified vehicles like the Bolt, which GM said this week will have a 238-mile range. The company also is pursuing more efficient manufacturing techniques and technologies.
“This bold and ambitious commitment from General Motors will undoubtedly catch the attention of the global automotive industry,” said Amy Davidsen, North America executive director at The Climate Group. “GM has already saved millions of dollars by using renewable energy, and like any smart business that recognizes an investment opportunity, they want to seize it fully. We hope that through this leadership, other heavy manufacturing companies will be inspired to make the switch too.”
GM said it already saves $5 million annually and has saved $80 million in the past 20 years by using renewable energy. It anticipated that it will save more as more projects come online and the supply of renewable energy increases and as the price of renewable energy drops.
The auto manufacturer said it previously had a goal of promoting the use of 125 megawatts of renewable energy by 2020. Now, it will exceed that goal in 2017 when two new wind projects come online later this year. In addition, the company is adding 30 megawatts of solar arrays at two facilities in China. It’s also using its Chevrolet Volt batteries for energy storage at its Milford Proving Ground data center office.Tweet