Google moving towards data centers with 24/7 carbon-free energy

2 min read

It comes as no surprise to most that Google have been one of the largest buyers of renewable energy. Over 2017 alone, Google have purchased over 7 billion kilowatt-hour (kWh) from solar panels and wind farms designed especially for their electricity consumption. In light of the IPCC 6 Climate Change report which was released just a couple of days back, Google have also released a paper discussing their efforts regarding their 24/7 carbon-free energy initiative.

What does the Google paper say

In line with their promise of moving towards a future driven by carbon-free energy, Google’s paper discusses the steps Google are taking to reduce their carbon footprint. Key aspects discussed in this paper, aptly titled Moving toward 24×7 Carbon-Free Energy at Google Data Centers: Progress and Insights’, are:

  • Google’s framework for using 24/7 carbon-free energy
  • How Google are currently utilizing carbon-free energy to power their data centers across different campuses situated all over the world. Finland, North Carolina, Netherlands, Iowa, and Taiwan are some of the examples where this is being achieved.
  • Analysis of the power usage currently and how the insights derived can be used in their journey ahead

Why Google is striving for adopting a carbon-free strategy

Per Google, they have been carbon-neutral since 2007, and met their goal of matching all of their global energy consumption with renewable energy. Considering the scale of Google’s business and the size of their existing infrastructure, they have always been a large consumer of electricity. Google’s business expansion plans in the near future too, in turn, could have direct effects on the environmental footprint. As such, their strategy of 24/7 carbon-free energy makes complete sense. According to Google,

“Pursuing this long-term objective is important for elevating carbon-free energy from being an important but limited element of the global electricity supply portfolio today, to a resource that fully powers our operations and ultimately the entire electric grid.”

This is a positive and important step by Google towards building a carbon-free future with more dependence on renewable energy sources. It will also encourage other organizations of similar scale to adopt a similar approach to reduce carbon emissions. Microsoft, for example, have already pledged a 75% reduction of their carbon footprint in the environment by 2030. Oracle have also increased their solar power usage as a part of their plan to reduce their carbon emissions.

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