Slightly over a yr in the past, we introduced that we have been on observe to buy sufficient renewable vitality to match all of the electrical energy we consumed over the following yr. We simply accomplished the accounting for Google’s 2017 vitality use and it’s official—we met our purpose. Google’s whole buy of vitality from sources like wind and photo voltaic exceeded the quantity of electrical energy utilized by our operations around the globe, together with workplaces and information facilities.

What will we imply by “matching” renewable vitality? Over the course of 2017, throughout the globe, for each kilowatt hour of electrical energy we consumed, we bought a kilowatt hour of renewable vitality from a wind or photo voltaic farm that was constructed particularly for Google. This makes us the primary public Cloud, and firm of our measurement, to have achieved this feat.

Today, now we have contracts to buy three gigawatts (3GW) of output from renewable vitality initiatives; no company purchaser buys extra renewable vitality than we do. To date, our renewable vitality contracts have led to over $3 billion in new capital funding around the globe.

The highway to 100 %

We’ve been working towards this purpose for a very long time. At the outset of final yr, we felt assured that 2017 was the yr we might meet it. Every yr, we signal contracts for brand new renewable vitality era initiatives in markets the place now we have operations. From the time we signal a contract, it takes one to 2 years to construct the wind farm or photo voltaic discipline earlier than it begins producing vitality. In 2016, our operational initiatives produced sufficient renewables to cowl 57 % of the vitality we used from international utilities. That similar yr, we signed a file variety of new contracts for wind and photo voltaic developments that have been nonetheless beneath development. Those initiatives started working in 2017—and that further output of renewable vitality was sufficient to cowl greater than 100 % of what we used throughout the entire yr.

We say that we “matched” our vitality utilization as a result of it’s not but attainable to “energy” an organization of our scale by 100 % renewable vitality. It’s true that for each kilowatt-hour of vitality we eat, we add an identical kilowatt-hour of renewable vitality to an influence grid someplace. But that renewable vitality could also be produced in a distinct place, or at a distinct time, from the place we’re working our information facilities and workplaces. What’s necessary to us is that we’re including new clear vitality sources to the electrical system, and that we’re shopping for that renewable vitality in the identical quantity as what we’re consuming, globally and on an annual foundation.

Google’s information heart in Eemshaven, The Netherlands.

Looking forward

We’re constructing new information facilities and workplaces, and as demand for Google merchandise grows, so does our electrical energy load. We should be continually including renewables to our portfolio to maintain up. So we’ll hold signing contracts to purchase extra renewable vitality. And in these areas the place we are able to’t but purchase renewables, we’ll hold engaged on methods to assist open the market. We additionally assume each vitality purchaser—people and companies alike—ought to be capable of select clear vitality. We’re working with teams just like the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance and Re-Source Platform to facilitate higher entry to renewably-sourced vitality.

This program has all the time been a primary step for us, however it is a crucial milestone in our race to a carbon-free future. We do need to get to some extent the place renewables and different carbon-free vitality sources really energy our operations each hour of day-after-day. It will take a mix of expertise, coverage and new deal buildings to get there, however we’re excited for the problem. We can’t wait to get again to work.

This article sources data from The Keyword