Google has announced that it has signed several massive long term power purchase agreements throughout the world as a way to obtain extremely large amounts of clean energy. This clean energy will be used by Google to power its data centers across the globe. Eventually, Google hopes that all of its businesses will utilize clean and renewable energy.
Prior to the latest purchases, Google had obtained about 1.2 gigawatts of clean energy capacity throughout the world. The company had previously stated that it would soon purchase more renewable energy than any other company. With the new purchases, Google is set to have more than 2 gigawatts of clean energy.
Google energy policy leader Michael Terrell said, “These are global deals on 3 continents, 6 deals in total, in the U.S. and Chile and Sweden.”
By 2025, Google says that it will triple its purchases of renewable energy. The recent purchases will give Google a great start towards achieving this goal. The new investments include both wind and solar energy. In the United States, Google has reached an agreement with America’s largest utility company Duke Energy in order to buy solar power directly.
Other companies have also gotten involved in the practice of buying clean energy. In recent years, major long term energy purchases have been announced by companies like Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Ikea and Walmart. The long term deals let companies lock in electricity rates, which allows them to affordably obtain clean electricity for years to come.
Chief information technology analyst at Greenpeace Gary Cook said, “Google’s leadership has helped spark a race among global IT companies to build a renewably-powered internet, and shows how companies can help lead the way to a 100 percent renewable energy future.”
The trend of companies purchasing clean energy has been intensifying in recent times. In 2014, corporations contracted for 1.2 gigawatts of clean energy capacity. This year, before the recent Google announcement was made, more than 2 gigawatts of clean energy had been contracted by companies.
A report on the trend read, “Renewable electricity from large-scale, off-site projects has become attractive both economically and for corporate sustainability.”
For now, Google is adamant about continuing its pursuit of clean energy.
“We’re going to get renewable energy any way we can, no matter what it takes,” said Terrell.