Google just announced that it will be fully powered by renewables before the end of 2017. The tech giant has been growing its solar and wind investments over the years, and is now making a final push to achieve 100 percent renewable energy through additional purchases. Google initially announced its 100-percent goal in 2012, and this week’s announcement confirms the company will hit the target next year.

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Under the umbrella of an initiative dubbed “Google Green,” the tech company says its aim for 100 percent renewable energy is “just the beginning.” Starting with its first contract for a 114-megawatt wind farm in Iowa in 2010, the California-based company has grown to become the world’s largest corporate buyer of renewable energy. According to this week’s announcement, Google is purchasing around 2.6 gigawatts of wind and solar energy. “Over the calendar year globally, for every unit of energy we consume, we’re purchasing the equivalent amount or more of renewable energy” in 2017, said Neha Palmer, head of energy strategy at Google’s global infrastructure division.

Related: The world’s renewable energy capacity is now higher than coal

Many tech giants are targeting 100 percent renewable energy, but Google has taken a strong lead with this announcement. By comparison, Apple reached this milestone for its US operations and data centers in early 2015 and had, at that time, achieved 87 percent renewable energy for its global operations. Google started off following in Apple’s footsteps but quickly surpassed its progress by making their data centers 50 percent more efficient than the industry standard. Additionally, Google cites the falling prices of solar and wind projects as the primary reason for the business decision, although reducing the company’s carbon footprint and contribution to the effects of climate change were also important factors.


Images via Tony Webster/Flickr and Google