Google: ‘We’re Set to Reach 100% Renewable Energy’

Urs Hölzle, Google’s senior vice president of technical infrastructure:

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. […]

Over the last six years, the cost of wind and solar came down 60 percent and 80 percent, respectively, proving that renewables are increasingly becoming the lowest cost option. Electricity costs are one of the largest components of our operating expenses at our data centers, and having a long-term stable cost of renewable power provides protection against price swings in energy.

Interesting: Google’s renewable purchasing is overwhelmingly wind, not solar. Same for Microsoft. Amazon looks like about one-third solar, two-thirds wind. Apple is almost entirely solar.

Update: Interesting email from a longtime DF reader:

I work in renewable energy with corporations who are seeking to do exactly what Google is about to achieve.

The best reason to explain “Apple is almost entirely solar” has to do with renewable production — solar produces during the day and U.S. wind sites mostly at night. Since daytime hours align with higher power prices, Apple seems to have strategically gone for value with many, smaller solar projects, while Google and others have gone after fewer and larger wind deals.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016