Whether played at a casino, at a buddy’s house or online, poker has become increasingly popular throughout the past several years. A host of TV shows and related merchandise are even dedicated to it. Granted, some versions of the card game are more complicated than others, but there’s perhaps no more exciting version than no-limit poker, during which there isn’t a cap on the amount a player can bet. The player can put it all on the line and, as the saying goes, “go all-in.”
Outside the poker world and in the energy space, local governments and major corporations have also decided to go all-in by committing themselves to 100% renewable energy. For these leading municipalities and companies, though, there is no gambling involved: Clean energy is a sure bet.
In April, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel pledged to transition the city’s hundreds of public buildings to 100% renewable energy by 2025. “As the Trump administration pulls back on building a clean energy economy, Chicago is doubling down,” claimed Emanuel. “By committing the energy used to power our public buildings to wind and solar energy, we are sending a clear signal that we remain committed to building a 21st-century economy here in Chicago.”
According to the announcement, the 900+ public buildings accounted for 8% of all electricity used in the Windy City last year, or 1.8 billion kWh, “the equivalent to powering approximately 295,000 Chicago homes.” In order to meet its 100% goal, the city government will rely on a mix of renewable energy credits and on-site solar, among other resources.
Notably, Emanuel also revealed the commitment while standing at a podium surrounded by rooftop solar panels at Shedd Aquarium – a great photo op that highlighted the growing presence of solar in major cities.
Chicago’s pledge is nothing less than astounding, yet some ambitious cities have even gone beyond plans to green their municipal buildings and established community-wide 100% renewable energy goals. According to the Sierra Club, Madison, Wis., and Abita Springs, La., recently became the latest of about two dozen U.S. cities that have ratified such community-wide commitments. And, frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if a new city decided to join the list by the time you read this.
As mentioned, large corporations are also going all-in with renewables. Anheuser-Busch (AB) InBev, the world’s largest beer maker, recently committed to get 100% of the electricity it buys from renewable sources by 2025. The brewer plans to meet most of its goal through power purchase agreements, with the remaining 15% to 25% coming from on-site generation such as solar installations.
According to AB InBev CEO Carlos Brito, “Cutting back on fossil fuels is good for the environment and good for business, and we are committed to helping drive positive change. We have the opportunity to play a leading role in the battle against climate change by purchasing energy in a more sustainable way.”
In concert with its decision, AB InBev also has become a member of the global RE100 initiative, under which approximately 90 major companies, including IKEA, Apple, Google and General Motors, have all made 100% renewable energy commitments.
When speaking about AB InBev’s pledge, the head of the RE100 initiative recently pointed out, “Before long, we will see every Budweiser, Corona and Stella Artois made with 100 percent renewable power.”
Yup, wind- and solar-powered beer is on its way to the mainstream – cheers to sustainability and a clean energy future!