Google's new goal: 100% renewable energy 24/7

October 29, 2018
  • Google issued a white paper Wednesday examining the energy used to run its data centers, concluding that while it has purchased 2.6 GW of renewable capacity, more than sufficient to cover its demands for clean energy, the resources are not fully aligned with when the electricity can be delivered.
  • The internet giant reached its 100% renewable energy purchasing goal on a global and annual basis last year, but says it will now tackle the "much more challenging" long-term goal of powering operations on a region-specific, 24/7 basis with clean, zero-carbon energy.
  • Google's analysis showed none of its data centers in 2017 were matched 24 hours a day, every day with 100% carbon-free energy, though at least one is very close. In all, the company matched about two-thirds of its energy demand with carbon-free supplies.
Google's white paper and discussion of its data center energy use illustrates the extent to which corporate buyers are serious about reducing their carbon footprint, whether it be about environmental stewardship or simply the company's bottom line.