Google, the Silicon Valley based Technology giant has announced that its energy consumption needs, from 2017, would be fully met through renewable sources of Energy. Calling it as a “landmark moment”, the company’s shift to 100% renewable energy consumption would be a jump from their already prevalent 44% renewable energy consumption.
For Google, hitting the 100% target means that for every unit of electricity it consumes, it would buy a unit of wind or solar electricity. The amount will evidently exceed the 5.7 terawatt-hours of wind and solar energy that the company had bought in 2015. This might be due to the significant fall in their prices in the last ten years. Further, as quoted by the sources, Government tax breaks have acted as an impetus in increasing the affordability for renewable sources of energy. Unfortunately, due to geographical restrictions, “the places with the best renewable power potential cannot be the same as the location of the data centres”. Moreover, while the data centres operate 24/7, most renewable energy sources don’t. Consequently, they have purchased renewable energy from the wind farms through the Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs)-long term contracts to buy clean energy from a particular producer, thus, financing new clean energy facilities in this discourse. In exchange, they get clean energy at competitive prices along with the renewable energy certificates (RECs) to help reduce carbon footprint.
Thus, Google’s decision has helped it to emerge as a leader in reducing emissions produced by technological companies, who account for about 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions. This can act as a catalyst for many more large scale companies to take similar actions and give rise to an environmentally conscious industry.
SHRIJA GANGULY | TOC
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