Google hits 100% renewables goal with 3GW contracted, eyes more

Google’s data centre in Eemshaven, The Netherlands

Google has hit its target to use 100% renewable power. The firm said it now has contracts in place to purchase 3GW of output from renewable sources and plans to fund construction of more power plants.

Urs Hölzle, senior vice president for Technical Infrastructure, said Google’s accounting for 2017 showed that it had bought more power from renewable sources over the year than it had consumed – all of it bought from wind or solar plants built specifically for Google.

“Today, we have contracts to purchase three gigawatts (3GW) of output from renewable energy projects; no corporate purchaser buys more renewable energy than we do,” Hölzle wrote in a blog post. “To date, our renewable energy contracts have led to over $3 billion in new capital investment around the world.”

Hölzle explained that the company says it “matched” its electricity use with renewables due to fluctuations in renewable output.

“It’s true that for every kilowatt-hour of energy we consume, we add a matching kilowatt-hour of renewable energy to a power grid somewhere. But that renewable energy may be produced in a different place, or at a different time, from where we’re running our data centres and offices,” he wrote.

“What’s important to us is that we are adding new clean energy sources to the electrical system, and that we’re buying that renewable energy in the same amount as what we’re consuming, globally and on an annual basis.”

Hölzle said the company would be signing more power purchase agreements (PPAs) to develop further renewables projects as demand for its services continue to grow and would work to help facilitate markets in regions without sufficient renewable generation.

See the post here.

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