The energy market has changed dramatically since Microsoft signed its first power purchase agreement (PPA) in 2012, according to Brian Janous, the tech company's director of energy strategy.
Back then, the idea of signing a 20-year PPA was novel, but now there is a massive uptick in companies participating in energy agreements. However, the risks of market fluctuation and falling prices are all material to designing electricity markets in the future.
"More companies are signing a shorter PPA," said Janous. "These things are not a free lunch."
That's why Microsoft is using data to make the most of the energy sector's future: "Data will be the electricity of the next century."