Google Releases New Plans
to Use Renewable Energy
> GOOGLE HAS MADE PUBLIC NEW AGREEMENTS TO BUY
renewable energy to power its operations, according to an article
in The New York Times. This will almost double its current
The announcement was made amid debates and discussions
to reduce carbon dioxide emissions at the U.N. conference on
climate change in Paris in early December.
“We’re one step closer to our commitment to triple our
purchases of renewable energy by 2025 and our goal of powering
100 percent of our operations with clean energy,” Google stated
in a Dec. 3 post on the company’s official blog. “We hope that our
efforts play a small part in boosting all of us in the race to solve
This latest agreement will add 842 megawatts of renewable
energy to power its data centers.
Google has already invested about $2.5 billion in renewable-energy projects. This newest deal will raise the 1. 2 gigawatts
(GW) of renewable energy it agreed to purchase to 2 GW. These
projects include wind power farms in Oklahoma and Sweden as
well as solar farms in Chile and North Carolina.
Google’s long-term contracts range from 10–20 years for wind
and solar facilities. The company works with utility partners to
promote green energy in that sector. In 2013, it created a program
to allow customers to buy large amounts of renewable energy
directly from utilities—and its latest announcement includes the
first solar project enrolled in that program.
In 2015, there were several similar corporate purchases
of renewable energy—some smaller than Google’s—including
Amazon Web Services, Dow Chemical, Hewlett-Packard and
Kaiser Permanente. Bloomberg agreed to buy more than 25
percent of the energy generated by a wind farm in Chautauqua
County, N. Y., which will offset energy use of its New York offices,
according to a company press release. Unilever also committed
to eliminating coal from its energy makeup within five years.
Falling green energy prices and increasing pressure from
shareholders and customers to produce direct action, instead of
mere goals, to fight global warming prompted these green-energy
deals, according to the Times article. New techniques such as a
green tariff, which is being used in North Carolina and Nevada,
make it easier for these companies to buy renewables through
their utilities. Google helped to create the tariff. While these
companies are merely buying offset credits, this investment could
lead to further renewable-energy developments.