On 6 Dec 2016 Google revealed that it will run 100 percent of its global operations on renewable energy starting next year.
“I’m thrilled to announce that in 2017 Google will reach 100% renewable energy for our global operations including both our data centers and offices,” Google’s senior vice president of technical infrastructure Urs Hölzle writes in a blog post. That’s a big deal, because according to The New York Times, Google used enough energy to power the entire city of San Francisco last year.
The internet giant is already the world’s biggest corporate buyer of renewable electricity, last year buying 44% of its power from wind and solar farms. Now it will be 100%, and an executive said it would not rule out investing in nuclear power in the future, too.
“We are convinced this is good for business, this is not about greenwashing. This is about locking in prices for us in the long term. Increasingly, renewable energy is the lowest cost option,” said Marc Oman, EU energy lead at Google. “Our founders are convinced climate change is a real, immediate threat, so we have to do our part.”Technology companies have come under increasing scrutiny over the carbon footprint of their operations, which have grown so fast they now account for about 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, rivalling the aviation industry.
The 5.7 terawatt-hours of electricity Google consumed in 2015 “is equal to the output of two 500 megawatt coal plants,” said Jonathan Koomey, a lecturer in the school of earth, energy and environmental sciences at Stanford. That is enough for two 140,000-person towns. “For one company to be doing this is a very big deal. It means other companies of a similar scale will feel pressure to move.”
Source: theguardian.com, inverse.com, computerworld.com, zmescience.com