Categories: Green-ITInnovation

Google Makes Massive Renewable Energy Purchase In US, Sweden And Chile

Google has bought 842 megawatts of renewable energy capacity to power its global data centre operations, claiming that it is now one step closer to its commitment to triple its purchases of renewable energy by 2025.

The renewable energy capacity, consisting of both solar and wind power, has been purchased from Sweden, Chile, and the United States.

Google said the purchase of renewable energy capacity was the largest and most diverse purchase of renewable energy ever made by a non-utility company.


“Across three countries, we’re nearly doubling the amount of renewable energy we’ve purchased to date,” said Google.

“We’re now up to 2 gigawatts—the equivalent to taking nearly 1 million cars off the road. These additional 842 megawatts represent a range of locations and technologies, from a wind farm in Sweden to a solar plant in Chile.”

The announcement comes as Paris hosts the COP21 Climate Change Summit, which hopes to create urgent government regulations on carbon emissions.

Google said that the contracts are long term, ranging from 10-20 years, and that it can with “financial certainty” provide the projects with the capabilities to sustain renewable energy sourcing for the lifespan of the contracts.

“For our part, these contracts not only help minimize the environmental impact of our services—they also make good business sense by ensuring good prices,” said Google.

In May, Google scored 46 percent on Greenpeace’s Clicking Green IT energy report. This was below Facebook and Yahoo, but ahead of major cloud competitor Amazon Web Services, which scored just 23 percent. Companies were ranked on their energy sources, transparency, and emissions.

But the company claims it has also made separate agreements to fund $2.5 billion (£1.65m) in 22 large-scale renewable energy projects over the last five years.

“These investments have been in some of the largest and most transformative renewable energy projects in the world with a goal to help drive renewable energy development not only as a customer but as an investor, and bring down costs for everyone,” said the company.

In August, Google launched a tool that lets users calculate how much solar energy can be generated from a rooftop of their choice.

The initiative, called Project Sunroof, uses Google Maps to model how much sunlight will hit a given property, and also estimates how much space there is for solar panels, the projected cost savings, and whether the solar panels would be best leased, bought with a loan, or bought outright.

Ben Sullivan

Ben covers web and technology giants such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft and their impact on the cloud computing industry, whilst also writing about data centre players and their increasing importance in Europe. He also covers future technologies such as drones, aerospace, science, and the effect of technology on the environment.

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