By the start of the next decade Google wants to make sure all the electricity it uses for its data centers and offices will be truly 100% carbon free. Under its previous pledge the tech giant has been offsetting its consumption with direct renewable electricity purchases and the associated certificates. On paper, that allowed it to claim it used 100% renewable electricity. But when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow, it’s still drawing its power from polluting fossil fuels. The new policy will ensure that doesn’t happen again. To learn more, read “Google Targets Carbon-Free Power For Data Centers by 2030.”

Key Takeaways: 

  • Google said it will leverage more than $5 billion dollars of investment in 5 gigawatts of wind, solar, nuclear and other new carbon-free energy projects across its supply chain over the next decade. The company said the move will create 20,000 new jobs.
  • To deliver clean energy around the clock Google will use a bundle of measures including pairing wind and solar projects, using more batteries to store power and investing in artificial intelligence to improve power demand and forecasting.
  • Google has also offset its historical emissions, clearing carbon debts for the past 22 years. But those legacy emissions, from 1998 to 2006, are estimated to be smaller than one year of its current net operational emissions – less than 1 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.

Path to 100% Perspective: 

While two-thirds of the world’s electricity is generated from fossil fuels today, by 2050 two-thirds of electricity will be generated from zero-carbon sources, with almost half coming from renewables and the rest from hydroelectric and nuclear power. The writing is on the wall: the global shift to renewable power generation has begun, and there is no going back. 


Photo: Google