More than a year ago, the tech giant Google committed itself to a goal of 100% renewable energy, i.e. to produce enough renewable energy to match the electricity consumed over next year. Finally, Google announced that it has met the target. Now, Google matches the amount of energy it consumes with the amount of renewable energy it purchases.
By ‘matching’, it means over the period of 2017, for every kilowatt hour of electricity consumed, Google purchased a kilowatt hour of renewable energy from solar or wind farms specifically built for the company. Now, the total purchase of wind and solar energy exceeds the amount of electricity used by its operators.
Google signs contracts for projects of generation of renewable energy every year. It takes a couple of years to set up the wind or solar farm before it starts producing electricity. Google is working with organizations such as the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance and Re-Source Platform to achieve its goal.
Although it’s too early for Google to fully work on renewable energy, the initiative taken by the company is a significant step toward sustainability. Google employs around 73,992 people worldwide.
Urs Holzle, senior vice-president of technical infrastructure is positive for the future. “Today, we have contracts to purchase three gigawatts (GW) of output from renewable energy projects; no corporate purchaser buys more renewable energy than we do. To date, our renewable energy contracts have led to over $3.5bn in new capital investment around the world” he said.
As Google’s energy demands are increasing, the company is looking forward to a clean energy consumption. “What’s important to us is that we are adding new clean energy sources to the electrical system and that we’re buying that renewable energy in the same amount as what we’re consuming, globally and on an annual basis” he added.
IT companies are among the largest consumers of energy. Along with Google, other tech giants have also taken steps towards bringing more clean energy to use. Apple has committed to bringing four gigawatts of renewable power online by 2020. Amazon has a long-term goal of 100% renewable energy. Microsoft and Facebook are also joining the league.
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