Google has already invested quite a bit in renewable energy, which they use to power their data centers across the US, Sweden and Chile. And on Thursday, the company announced another huge investment in renewable energy, adding about 842 megawatts of green energy. Google noted that this is the biggest investment any company has made, that is not a power company. These new projects are mostly wind-powered and will be used to power their data centers, which is great for the environment.
With this investment, Google’s renewable energy is now at 2 gigawatts. To put that in perspective, that is about the same energy output as the Hoover Dam. Additionally, the search engine has pledged to have their entire operations powered from green energy by 2025. Before this deal, Google was powering about 37% of their operations from green energy, so with this deal, we should be closer to about 60%. However, Google’s energy policy lead, Michael Terrell stated that Google isn’t able to always feed renewable energy directly into their data center. This renewable energy is purchased through agreements with utility companies, which the agreements are set to last around 20 years.
As you can imagine, Google’s data centers use a ton of energy. Where these data centers hold servers that power the search engine, as well as email, Google+, and so much more. And using renewable energy is definitely the way to go. Currently, Google has 6 agreements across 3 continents. Including one with Duke Energy who is the largest utility in the US, and they are buying solar power directly from Duke Energy.
Google isn’t the first or only company to be buying renewable energy to power their operations. Other companies like Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Ikea and Walmart have also been buying renewable energy in recent years to power their operations and do their part to help the environment. And it’s likely that we will see plenty of other large companies follow these footsteps, in buying renewable energy to power their data centers and much more. An IT Analyst from GreenPeace stated that Google’s leadership in buying renewable energy should help lead the way to a 100% renewable energy world.