Google has hit a new milestone in its efforts to go green and last year the company was able to purchase enough renewable energy to match all the electricity its operations used worldwide.
In 2017, the search giant purchased a kilowatt hour of renewable energy from a wind or solar farm built specifically for the company to match each kilowatt hour of electricity it consumed. This makes Google the first public cloud and company of its size to be powered 100 per cent by renewable energy.
The company also announced that it has contracts to purchase three gigawatts of output from renewable energy products and to date its renewable energy contracts have contributed to $3bn in new capital investment around the world.
Google has been working to reduce its carbon footprint since it voluntarily decided to do so in 2007. In 2010, the company began to directly purchase renewable energy to accelerate its plans to be carbon neutral.
Since it is not yet possible to power a company the size of Google entirely by renewable energy, the search giant has decided to 'match' its energy usage by purchasing renewable energy from local wind and solar farms.
Senior Vice President of Technical Infrastructure at Google, Urs Hölzle offered further details on the company's renewable strategy moving forward in a blog post, saying:
“We’re building new data centers and offices, and as demand for Google products grows, so does our electricity load. We need to be constantly adding renewables to our portfolio to keep up. So we’ll keep signing contracts to buy more renewable energy. And in those regions where we can’t yet buy renewables, we’ll keep working on ways to help open the market.”
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