Google data centres to run 100% on green energy by 2017
Company is one of the first tech giants to power its entire IT needs and offices globally using renewable energy.
Google is aiming to make history in the IT sector by becoming one of the first large multinationals to be solely powered by green energy.
The company has announced that in 2017 it will turn off all its sources of power that are not generated by green sources such as wind.
Urs Hölzle, SVP of technical infrastructure, wrote in a blog: “I am thrilled to announce that in 2017 Google will reach 100% renewable energy for our global operations — including both our data centres and offices.
“We were one of the first corporations to create large-scale, long-term contracts to buy renewable energy directly; we signed our first agreement to purchase all the electricity from a 114-megawatt wind farm in Iowa, in 2010.
“Today, we are the world’s largest corporate buyer of renewable power, with commitments reaching 2.6 gigawatts (2,600 megawatts) of wind and solar energy.”
Hölzle said that to reach the 100% goal, the company will be directly buying wind and solar electricity annually to account for every unit of electricity our operations consume, globally.
The executive highlighted that the cost of wind and solar came down 60% and 80%, respectively, “proving that renewables are increasingly becoming the lowest cost option”.
“Electricity costs are one of the largest components of our operating expenses at our data centres, and having a long-term stable cost of renewable power provides protection against price swings in energy.”
Google is currently invested in 20 agreements around renewable energy to power its needs. In total, the company is seeing more than $3.5bn of new capital investments worldwide generated by renewable energy projects from which the company buys electricity.
Around 65% of the $3.5bn figure are in the US alone.
Hölzle said: “We have lots of progress left to make, but these achievements we are announcing today feel like a breath of fresh air.”