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Going Green: Google Powers Dutch Data Centre With Solar Power

As News Editor of Silicon UK, Roland keeps a keen eye on the daily tech news coverage for the site, while also focusing on stories around cyber security, public sector IT, innovation, AI, and gadgets.

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The search giant will buy all the energy a Netherlands solar farm produces over the next decade

Google is pushing its green data centre ambitions by planning to purchase all of the electricity generated by a Netherlands solar park over the next decade to power its Dutch data centre. 

The green power will be taken from Sunport Delfzijl, the largest solar farm in the Netherlands run by Dutch energy firm Eneco and will power Google’s data centre located in the nearby city of Eemshaven. 

The decade-long deal is a combination on the Netherlands’ push to boost the production of energy from renewable sources and Google’s aims to have more of its data centres running on energy from environmentally friendly sources. 

Going green 

Green keyboard energy © pryzmat ShutterstockSuch a move should please the likes of environmentalist organisations like Greenpeace, which have been fairly vocal on the damage power-hungry data centres can have on the environment when they use electricity generated by fossil fuels. 

Greenpeace has praised Google, Apple and Facebook in the past for their pursuit of green energy in their data centres but has resoundingly slammed Amazon, Baidu, Netflix and Oracle for their use of  non-renewable energy. 

“Amazon continues to talk a good game on renewables but is keeping its customers in the dark on its energy decisions. This is concerning, particularly as Amazon expands into markets served by dirty energy,” said Greenpeace USA senior IT analyst Gary Cook in relation to the organisation’s views on Amazon’s eco-friendly credentials. 

The use of green energy in the technology world has caught the attention of tech luminaries like Bill Gates, who along with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezon and others, have invested $1 billion (£800m) into the use of clean energy technology in China

“We need affordable and reliable energy that doesn’t emit greenhouse gas to power the future and to get it, we need a different model for investing in good ideas and moving them from the lab to the market,” Gates said, embracing the green agenda. 

Quiz: Test your knowledge of renewable energy in IT