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December 7, 2016

Google pledges to go 100% renewable by 2017

The company is the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy in the world.

By CBR Staff Writer

Search giant Google said that it will be fully powered by renewable energy by 2017, with its worldwide operations, including data centres and offices, going 100% green.

The tech giant has been increasing its solar and wind investments over the years, and is now making a final push to achieve 100% renewable energy through additional purchases.

Google initially announced its 100% renewable energy goal in 2012, and the latest announcement confirms that it will hit the target next year.

Starting with its first contract for a 114 megawatt wind farm in Iowa in 2010, Google has grown to become the world’s largest corporate buyer of renewable energy.

The company is purchasing around 2.6 gigawatts of wind and solar energy.

Google global infrastructure division head of energy strategy Neha Palmer said the company will directly buy enough wind and solar electricity annually to account for every unit of electricity its operations consume, globally.

“And we’re focusing on creating new energy from renewable sources, so we only buy from projects that are funded by our purchases,” Palmer said.

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Google cited that the declining prices of solar and wind projects as the primary reason for its decision. The reduction in the company’s carbon footprint and contribution to the effects of climate change were also key factors.

The company’s purchasing commitments in renewable energy will result in over $3.5bn in global infrastructure investments, and nearly two-thirds of that is in the US.

Google buys renewable power through power purchase agreements. The company also supports renewable energy certificate programmes.

Apart from Google, other tech firms including Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon have all committed to renewable energy targets.

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