Senior vice president at Google, Urs Hölzle, revealed in a recent blog post that Google will use 100 percent of energy from renewable sources in 2017. Since the company, according to New York Times, last year used 5.7 terawatt-hours of electricity (enough to power the entire city of San Francisco), turning towards green energy sources is welcomed.
Google was on a quest of going green ever since 2007 when it first started buying energy from renewable energy sources. As of 2010, the company buys all the energy from a wind farm in Iowa. The energy was enough to provide power for several data centres owned by Google located in the US, but that wasn’t enough since Google has 13 data centers around the world.
Now, Hölzle stated that the company will reach 100 percent renewable energy for its global operations in 2017. The post reads, “So, we’re on track to match our global energy consumption on an annual basis by next year. But this is just the first step. As we look to the immediate future, we’ll continue to pursue these direct contracts as we grow, with an even greater focus on regional renewable energy purchases in places where we have data centers and significant operations.”
This doesn’t mean every single Google server or office will use green energy since the company still buys energy from power companies, which get it from a variety of sources. And there’s the financial part. For instance, wind energy prices remain pretty constant (and have come down by 60 percent since 2010), making Google to easier calculate its energy consumption. Further, solar energy prices saw a significant decline in recent years. Since 2010, the prices of solar energy come down by 80 percent, doubling the solar energy industry.
Google will also broaden its purchases to various renewable energy sources, not just to solar and wind energy, although it will still invest most in wind energy. The Times reports that Google will invest 95 percent of its energy investments into wind turbines.
Since Guardian reports that tech companies are responsible for around 2 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, it’s great Google decided to go 100 percent green.