Google to reach 100% renewables across global operations in 2017

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
The Googleplex covered in solar panels. Flickr: Avinash Kaushik

Google has announced that it will reach 100% renewable energy across its global operations including data centres and offices within 2017.

The firm requires vast amounts of energy to store all the data from all its search engines and the 400 hours of YouTube videos uploaded every minute.

Urs Holzle, senior vice president, technical infrastructure at Google, wrote in a blog that the tech company was one of the first corporations to create large-scale, long-term contracts to buy renewable energy directly to power its activities.

Having kicked off in 2010 by purchasing a 114MW wind farm in Iowa, Google is now by far the world’s largest corporate buyer of renewable power, with 20 commitments reaching 2.6GW of wind and solar energy. These will result in infrastructure investments of more than US$3.5 billion globally, of which two-thirds will be in the US.

Google has launched initiatives in various foreign markets including this year providing a seed grant to support expansion of renewable energy market infrastructure throughout Asia, starting in Taiwan.

Last year, the firm also entered in six new agreements totalling 842MW, which it claims is the largest aggregate purchase of renewable energy ever made by a non-utility.

The following Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) chart shows Google streaks ahead of other major corporates in this field:

Credit: BNEF

Holzle said renewables are increasingly becoming “the lowest cost option”, with the price of solar having come down 80% over the last six years.

He added: “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.”

Once the 100% renewables mark has been achieved, Google will then focus on technologies to facilitate renewables being able to provide power round the clock.

The company is also now reporting its carbon footprint and sustainability programmes in a new environmental report combined with environmental website.

4 October 2022
Solar & Storage Finance USA, the only event that connects developers to capital and capital to solar and storage projects, will be back in November 2022.

Read Next

July 6, 2022
US power distribution company Entergy Arkansas has issued a request for proposals (RfP) for 1GW of solar and wind resources.
July 6, 2022
US PV developer Birch Creek Development has increased its existing credit facility with debt financing provider Fundamental Renewables to US$250 million to pursue its 5GW solar pipeline in the US and support its module procurement strategy.
July 5, 2022
Total Eren has commissioned a 131MWp solar project in Uzbekistan, the independent power producer’s first to exclusively use bifacial modules.
PV Tech Premium
July 1, 2022
PV Tech Premium spoke with Cypress Creek Renewable Energy and AES Clean Energy to discuss the newly formed US Solar Buyer Consortium, its objectives, market challenges and the potential advantages it holds for US manufacturing and project development.
June 29, 2022
A round-up of the latest news from the US solar market, including EDF Renewables selling its 270MWdc Huck Finn Solar Project to a local utility, CS Energy partnering to deliver New York community solar and NextEnergy Capital expanding its US presence.
June 29, 2022
The US solar industry added 17,212 jobs in 2021, up 5.4% on 2020 figures, with 40% of all US energy jobs now focused on the transition to a net zero economy, according to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) US Energy and Employment Report (USEER).

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
July 19, 2022
Free Webinar - 10am and 6pm BST
Upcoming Webinars
July 27, 2022
9am (UTC +2) / 3pm (UTC +8)
Solar Media Events
October 4, 2022
New York, USA