Google expects to rely solely on 100% percent renewable energy starting in 2017. The company says that this move is in keeping with its pledge to “go green.”
To meet this goal the company agreed to purchase all of the energy produced by a 114-megawatt wind farm in Iowa in 2010. Google says that it will now use
2.6 gigawatts of wind and solar energy. The move was made possible thanks to a reduction of as much as 80% in the cost of energy produced by wind and solar farms.
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Al Gore must be very proud right now. And advocates around the world for fighting climate change, such as Bill Maher, are certainly celebrating the news.
The move will not only affect the use of energy while processing all of those Google searches, but will have an impact on all of Google’s other businesses as well, such as YouTube. Hundreds of hours of videos are uploaded to YouTube every minute of every day and this requires the expenditure of enormous amounts of energy.
Urs Hölzle, Senior Vice President Technical Infrastructure, wrote in a Google blog post, “I’m thrilled to announce that in 2017 Google will reach 100% renewable energy for our global operations — including both our data centers and offices. We were one of the first corporations to create large-scale, long-term contracts to buy renewable energy directly.”
Google also operates 20 renewable energy projects which it says help communities, from Grady County, OK, to Rutherford County, NC, to the Atacama Region of Chile to municipalities in Sweden.
Regardless of one’s opinion on climate change, the switch to renewable energy also has a number of other advantages. First, natural resources like coal are finite and the world’s supply is dwindling. It is also becoming much less expensive to use wind and solar power for electricity than coal and natural gas. And renewable energy will also greatly reduce the need of nations to import oil as the world moves toward electric vehicles.
“The science tells us that tackling climate change is an urgent global priority, ” added Hölzle. “We believe the private sector, in partnership with policy leaders, must take bold steps and that we can do so in a way that leads to growth and opportunity. And we have a responsibility to do so — to our users and the environment.”
“We have lots of progress left to make, but these achievements we’re announcing today feel like a breath of fresh air. Now, back to work.”
Google has also opened a new environmental website to help promote green causes.