Google just announced that it has officially bought enough renewable energy to match all of the electricity they consumed last year. Senior Vice President, Technical Infrastructure Urs Hölzle announced the milestone on Google’s blog — and said the company’s purchases even exceeded the total electricity used by their offices and data centers.
Google purchased renewable energy sources like solar and wind to match their electricity use. What exactly does that mean? Hölzle said in the blog post, “Over the course of 2017, across the globe, for every kilowatt hour of electricity we consumed, we purchased a kilowatt hour of renewable energy from a wind or solar farm that was built specifically for Google. This makes us the first public Cloud, and company of our size, to have achieved this feat.”
Hölzle said Google buys more clean power than any other corporate purchaser. The company included a chart in their post showing their cumulative renewable energy purchases in America, Mexico, and Europe in March 2018 far surpassed those of other big technology companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple. Google’s renewable energy projects also include an 80-megawatt solar plant in Chile. They have contracts to buy three gigawatts of output via 26 clean energy projects. A map of those projects reveals the majority are wind energy projects, located across Europe and America. Their contracts have caused “over $3 billion in new capital investment.”
And the company doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon. Hölzle said in the post, “We’re building new data centers and offices, and as demand for Google products grows, so does our electricity load. We need to be constantly adding renewables to our portfolio to keep up. So we’ll keep signing contracts to buy more renewable energy. And in those regions where we can’t yet buy renewables, we’ll keep working on ways to help open the market.”