Google Vows to Switch Entirely to Renewable Energy in 2017

Google Vows to Switch Entirely to Renewable Energy in 2017
Shawn Collins/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

We all know that the future belongs to renewable energy, and sooner or later we may all power our homes, cars and devices from renewable energy sources. However, some companies think that this future has already arrived.

Technology giant Google recently announced that all of its data centers worldwide will be completely powered by renewable energy sources sometime in 2017. This is no small feat, considering that last year, the company consumed as much energy as the entire city of San Francisco, as reported by the The New York Times.

“We are the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy in the world,” said Google’s Senior Vice President of Technical Infrastructure Joe Kava, according to The New York Times. “It’s good for the economy, good for business and good for our shareholders.”

This, however, does not mean that Google is going completely “off-the-grid.” Instead, the company is making a number of large-scale investments in the renewable energy industry by guaranteeing to buy energy that wind and solar companies produce, thus bringing its own net consumption of fossil fuels to zero.

However, aside from being environmentally conscientious, Google’s decision to become reliant on renewable energy rather than carbon-based power is also informed by very practical matters. According to Kava, unlike fossil fuels, wind supply costs do not fluctuate, which, in turn, makes long-term business planning easier for Google.

Other online giants are following suit, with both Facebook and Amazon making similar deals with renewable energy producers. Microsoft also hopes to supply half of its electric power from wind, solar and hydroelectric power plants by 2018.

As some of the world’s largest electricity consumers continue to invest in renewable energy, production costs will continue to go down, making wind and solar power an even more viable alternative to fossil fuels. And in our view this is definitely a good thing!

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