Linking Up to Make the Idea of a Sustainable Future More Real

Human beings are known for a myriad of different things, but more importantly, they are known for getting better on a consistent basis. This tendency to improve under all circumstances has notably fetched us some huge milestones, with technology appearing as a rather unique member of the group. The reason why technology’s credentials are so anomalous is, by and large, centered upon its skill-set, which was unprecedented enough to guide us towards a reality that we couldn’t have imagined otherwise. Nevertheless, a closer look should quickly reveal how the whole runner was also very much inspired from the way we applied those skills across a real-world environment. The latter component was, in fact, what gave the creation a spectrum-wide presence and made it the ultimate centrepiece of every horizon. Having such an ingenious piece run the show unsurprisingly scaled up the human experience from every conceivable direction, but even after reaching so far ahead, this prodigious concept called technology will somehow continue to deliver the right goods. The same has turned more and more evident in recent times, and truth be told, a new partnership involving Microsoft will only solidify that trend for the future and beyond.

Microsoft has officially partnered with solar energy heavyweight Qcells, as it scales up the effort to achieve its clean energy goals. Under the agreed terms, Qcells will deliver more than 2.5 gigawatts of solar panels and related services to developers working with Microsoft. To put this into context, the stated quantity is literally enough to power around 400,000 homes. Apart from that, the solar energy company will bring panels, and engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services to selected solar projects Microsoft has contracted through power purchase agreements (PPAs). Hold on, there is more. Both the companies will also actively work together to develop a range of specialized solar projects. The move makes a lot of sense for Microsoft, considering the company hopes to cut its greenhouse emissions “more than half” by 2030. The Big Tech giant has also pledged to achieve 100% coverage of electricity consumption with renewable energy in the next few years. However, the feasibility of these goals is still not fully sorted due to various different reasons.

One reason here is, of course, the limited footprint of renewable energy, with the segment constituting just about 20% of the US’ total electricity mix. This limited availability, though, starts to explain itself once you look at an even bigger issue in supply-chain bottlenecks. You see, most of the world sources solar energy and its relevant elements from China, but given the political dynamics US shares with that source, it remains a challenge to facilitate such imports at scale. Interestingly enough, Microsoft’s decision to partner with Qcells came shortly after the latter confirmed its intention to fork out $2.5 billion for building a complete solar supply chain in the US. Now, assuming the plan materializes, it will solve a lot of those supply-chain problems.

“We’re striving to build and deliver turnkey clean energy solutions, including those made in America, and this partnership with Microsoft will help accomplish this vision,” said Justin Lee, CEO of Qcells. “Similarly, Qcells is proud to play a role with Microsoft to bring more renewable energy online in the years to come. This first step is only the beginning of a great partnership that not only supports our two companies but helps deliver a clean energy future for customers and communities.”

“As one of the world’s largest purchasers of renewable energy, this work will help bring more solar energy to the grid, faster,” said Brad Smith, vice chair and president at Microsoft.

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