Google to hit 100 per cent renewables target by 2017

Technology giant Google has said its data centres and offices around the world will be 100 per cent powered by renewable sources from 2017.

The firm had initially targeted fully renewable-powered facilities in 2015. It now says it is on track to achieve this goal through its purchases of wind and solar power.

Google has struck 20 renewable power purchase deals since 2010 to supply its 13 data centres, which together consume around 5.7 TWh per year.

The company claims to be the world’s largest corporate buyer of renewable energy, a claim that has not been verified although it is among the largest in a group including fellow tech giants Amazon and Microsoft.

According to data from the Financial Times, Google’s investment in renewables totals around $2bn. ­

In addition to environmental concerns, Google has said renewables “make business sense”. Urs Holzle, senior vice president for technical infrastructure, was quoted as saying: "Over the last six years, the cost of wind and solar came down 60 per cent and 80 per cent respectively, proving that renewables are increasingly becoming the lowest cost option”.  

In April Google announced that it would provide seed funding for renewable power certification programmes in Asia, a move aimed at meeting its goal in a region lacking in such programmes.

Image credit: brionv/Wikimedia Commons

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