Although it doesn’t mean that solar and wind power will directly power every single server, it does mean that the company will purchase as much renewable energy as it uses electricity every year.
As of present, Google is already the leading global corporate buyer of renewable energy. Last year, they purchased 44% of its power from solar and wind farms. Google also stated the move to raise that figure to 100% isn’t an effort to green-wash their operations but a logical business decision.
EU energy leader at Google, Marc Oman, stated that it had taken the company 5 years to get close to its 100% target due to the complexity of negotiating power purchase agreements. He also said that while wind and solar had been the cheapest options up to 2017, Google is looking at investing over the next 10 years in other forms of low-carbon power that includes hydro, biomass, and nuclear. Oman stated that the nuclear option is controversial, but that he didn’t want to rule it out if an agreement could meet the company’s goal of low price safety in a sufficiently close grid.
Google has also 20 of its own renewable projects, which it claims has resulted in infrastructure investments of more than US $3.5 billion worldwide. It will also generate millions of dollars every year in revenue to local property owners and millions more for local and national governments in tax revenue.
Featured Image Credit: Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine