Internet behemoth Google has announced that it will reach 100% renewable energy for its entire global operations by 2017, including all its data centers and offices — meeting its original renewable energy targets well ahead of schedule.
Google is arguably the biggest name on the internet, but the company has also made a name for itself as one of the leading companies purchasing renewable energy. Only two months ago, Google announced that it had partnered in a consortium to jointly source renewable energy projects in the Netherlands, which itself followed a few months after Google announced the purchase of 236 megawatts (MW) of wind energy for its European operations.
Google was “one of the first corporations to create large-scale, long-term contracts to buy renewable energy directly,” signing its first renewable energy power purchase agreement back in 2010. The company is currently the world’s leading purchaser of renewable power, with commitments up to 2.6 gigawatts (GW) of wind and solar energy. Google is also a member of RE100 and the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE).
Announced on its blog this week by Urs Hölzle, Google’s Senior Vice President for Technical Infrastructure, the company is now planning to ensure all its global operations are powered by 100% renewable energy sometime in 2017 — well ahead of previous targets of tripling its renewable energy purchasing by 2025. Google will not only aim to buy “enough wind and solar electricity annually to account for every unit of electricity our operations consume, globally,” but the company is also focusing on “Creating new energy from renewable energy sources,” meaning that it will “only buy from projects that are funded by our purchases.”
Unsurprisingly, the news has been warmly welcomed by Google’s environmental partners.
“Our sincere congratulations to Google on reaching this fantastic milestone earlier than expected — it shows companies everywhere that a complete transition to renewable power is both possible and makes business sense,” said Damian Ryan, Acting CEO of The Climate Group.
“I am delighted to celebrate this huge milestone with one of ACORE’s leading member companies,” said Gregory Wetstone, ACORE’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Google has been committed to large-scale, long-term renewable energy contracts for many years — and it’s paying off. This impressive early achievement of Google’s 100% renewable energy goal is a definitive demonstration that renewable energy is cost-effective and readily available at scale today.”