Google plans to spend over $2 billion on renewable energy infrastructure

Humza

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

The Global Climate Strike begins today and will see protests lodged in more than 150 countries over the course of next week. Tech companies are seemingly showing full support towards the cause, with Amazon making significant investments and now Google announcing "the biggest corporate purchase of renewable energy in history."

"Sustainability has been one of Google’s core values from our earliest days. Over the years we’ve worked hard to reduce the carbon footprint of our operations, build products with people and planet in mind, and drive change at scale through our supply chains," said Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

The record-breaking purchase comprises of 18 new energy deals that will add nearly 1,600 MW to Google's portfolio of renewable energy, taking it up to 5,500 MW (a 40 percent increase). The agreements include solar and wind projects that now amount to a fleet of 52 in total and are spread across the continents of America, South America and Europe.

Earlier this week, the company's employees published a post on Medium announcing to go on strike in support of the climate movement.

An excerpt from the Medium post reads the following:

Tech is not “green.” The carbon footprint of the tech industry’s data centers alone is on par with aviation. While Google makes a commitment to sustainability, stating that its global business operations are carbon neutral (its emissions are offset with equivalent renewable energy investments or carbon offset purchases) and aspiring to long-term 24x7 carbon-free energy consumption (but with no set commitment date), this doesn’t tell the whole story.

Google Cloud makes significant revenue licensing infrastructure, machine learning, and engineering talent to fossil fuel companies, promising to help them extract fuel reserves faster. We know that a liveable future requires keeping these reserves in the ground. And that by making extraction “more efficient” Google trades our collective future for profit.

Also, Google invests in the deadly status quo. In 2018 the company funded 111 members of Congress who voted against climate legislation at least 90% of the time.

This is why Google workers organized with workers from Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, and other tech companies to join the Global Climate Strike on September 20, demanding a liveable future for all of us, and pointing out how powerful tech companies push disproportionate risk on the people least responsible for this crisis. As Amazon workers wrote in their open letter: “We have to take responsibility for the impact that our business has on the planet and on people.”

Google employees have also shown support for the following cross-tech climate goals set by Amazon employees for Climate Justice:

  • Zero emissions by 2030.
  • Zero contracts for fossil fuel companies to accelerate oil and gas extraction.
  • Zero funding for climate denying lobbyists and politicians.
  • Zero harm to climate refugees and frontline communities.

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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
"Zero funding for climate denying lobbyists and politicians."

Since the administration and their cronies won't take the lead, perhaps large corporations and contribute so heavily to PAC's can swing their opinions. It's always amazing how quickly politicians opinions can change when there are $$ on the line ..... don't you just love democracy in action!
 
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""Zero funding for climate denying lobbyists and politicians.""

What bothers me is when you have an entire network (Fox and Conservative talk) that dog whistles and flat out screams climate denial on a daily basis to the "poorly educated"...

...but even the politicians who try to fight against climate change aren't well enough versed in Geology, Physics, Chemistry or Geophysics to hold meaningful dialogue or quell the naysayers.

If you can't reliably argue a point you're nothing but a "straw man".
 
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Theinsanegamer

TS Evangelist
How many of those google employees screaming about 'climate change" willingly participate in the globalist economy, buying electronics made of rare earth metals mined from third world countries, produced by slave labor, and shipped to the US on filthy polluting bunker oil burning ships? How many of them get electricity from the grid, from fossil fueld? How many of them eat meat? How many of them drive vehicles that use gasoline? How many of them have children, one of the worst things you can do if "climate change" is your main concern, as having a single child and rasing that child to 18 in the US produces more CO2 then if I drove a hummer to work every day for my entire career?

How are they accounting for the loss of wildlife from expansion of wind power? The changes in rain patterns from widespread wind turbine use? How about the rampant pollution that comes from PV cell production and the acquisition of the materials necessary to build them? What about the litium batteries used to sotre the poewr from green energy, the only way to use that energy when it is not sunny/windy? Do these people have aplan to deal with the rampant water and land pollution that comes from cobalt mining, or the nickle mines that use child and slave labor with deplorable conditions and short life expectancies?

These people scream about the climate, and how horrible human being are for polluting, while polluting themselves, often just as badly. They virtue signal about reducing their CO2 number without considering their massive long term implications, logistical nightmares, and restrictiosn their "green" technology brings, all while decrying the single greatest source of power that doesnt product massive amounts of CO2 and produces far less radiation then coal power does: Nuclear. We have legitimate solutions for the very "climate change"" these people bang drums over, but they wont entertain the idea because "ZOMG CHERNOBYLE!!11!!!"

Not to mention: INDIA AND CHINA! Both those countries are going to eclipse the US in CO2 production, and enviromentalists act like the US is just this horrible country for not crippling its own economy for "green energy" while constantly ignoring that china and india are still building new coal plants at a frightning rate, and without the enviromental restrictions the US has.

If these people actually cared about the enviroment, they would be pushing for better, safer nuclear plants and more efficient technology, and working with china and india to do so, not solar panels and hippymobiles.
 
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IAMTHESTIG

TS Evangelist
Sounds like children in school wanting to go on a strike just to avoid going to class. They'll probably all leave their computers on at work, leave the lights on, and drive their gas guzzler vehicles two blocks to the rally site.

There is no such thing as renewable energy, it doesn't exist. There is a cost to everything and nothing is free. Now in the long run are things like solar power better for the environment than burning coal to get the same energy; yeah probably but you still had to manufacture the solar panel and it will also eventually need to be replaced. I'm all for being more efficient and avoiding creating pollution but sometimes people take this shiznit too far where they are actually having the opposite effect.
 
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"Zero funding for climate denying lobbyists and politicians."
Since the administration and their cronies won't take the lead, perhaps large corporations and contribute so heavily to PAC's can swing their opinions. It's always amazing how quickly politicians opinions can change when there are $$ on the line ..... don't you just love democracy in action!
This is lobbying and the political process at work. It's a shame that most people don't understand lobbying and it gets such a bad rap even though it is an important part of the government process.
 

candle_86

TS Enthusiast
Boohoo, guess what solar panels and windfarms are horribly ineffiect, creates tons of toxins to produce and will wear out before they reach carbon neutral.

If they are serious about renewable, green electricity then they should be demanding more nuclear reactors.
 

DaveBG

TS Maniac
This is great news. If money hoggers like Google and Apple did this more often we would be in a much much better world.
Just based on this news I would "forgive" google at least 6 months of tracking me with my phone... for the rest years of tracking I am still a bit angry though.
 

candle_86

TS Enthusiast
This is great news. If money hoggers like Google and Apple did this more often we would be in a much much better world.
Just based on this news I would "forgive" google at least 6 months of tracking me with my phone... for the rest years of tracking I am still a bit angry though.
It's not good news, producing green energy is more toxic than burning coal for the enviroment. You want real green energy you want nuclear but no one is demanding it.
 

Karlos95

TS Enthusiast
This is great news. If money hoggers like Google and Apple did this more often we would be in a much much better world.
Just based on this news I would "forgive" google at least 6 months of tracking me with my phone... for the rest years of tracking I am still a bit angry though.
It's not good news, producing green energy is more toxic than burning coal for the enviroment. You want real green energy you want nuclear but no one is demanding it.
Yes, and have them burn down and make a lot of land uninhabitable for many decades. Smart solution.

Also your point, they have to start somewhere to make the tech better. You think cars just became hyper cars? I'd much rather them start learning how to make renewable energy better than to continue to put dirty coal smoke into the air. Common sense and logic prevails here.
 

candle_86

TS Enthusiast
Yes, and have them burn down and make a lot of land uninhabitable for many decades. Smart solution.

Also your point, they have to start somewhere to make the tech better. You think cars just became hyper cars? I'd much rather them start learning how to make renewable energy better than to continue to put dirty coal smoke into the air. Common sense and logic prevails here.
No it doesn't, nuclear is very safe. Solar and wind present way worse problems. Solar and wind outside of the cost to create also create issues for animals specifically birds. Then there is the massive batteries required for overcast or still days so they can still provide power. Nuclear is the answer, and we should be investing in fusion research to replace it down the road.
 

Karlos95

TS Enthusiast
No it doesn't, nuclear is very safe. Solar and wind present way worse problems. Solar and wind outside of the cost to create also create issues for animals specifically birds. Then there is the massive batteries required for overcast or still days so they can still provide power. Nuclear is the answer, and we should be investing in fusion research to replace it down the road.
"Fifty-seven accidents have occurred since the Chernobyl disaster, and almost two-thirds (56 out of 99) of all nuclear-related accidents have occurred in the US. There have been comparatively few fatalities associated with nuclear power plant accidents."

That is far from safe.

We should be using what is safe - solar and hydro. And invest in fusion. Fusion will be the answer.

Solar, put panels on every roof, it'll create jobs for electrician's, battery walls from tesla will keep the excess in for 15 years each. I know people that don't pay a single power bill because their panels generate more power than they use. Maybe small wind turbines on homes also for the less sunny days (usually days when it is more windy - DUH)

That is a way to get rid of dirty coal. But it is more of a stepping stone. Fusion is what we need.
 
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DaveBG

TS Maniac
No it doesn't, nuclear is very safe. Solar and wind present way worse problems. Solar and wind outside of the cost to create also create issues for animals specifically birds.
This has been debunked so many times it is not pointless to start arguing about it again. Every now and then someone that promotes the coal industry FUD appears and starts this topic all over again...
Then there is the massive batteries required for overcast or still days so they can still provide power. Nuclear is the answer, and we should be investing in fusion research to replace it down the road.
So far batteries have proven to be the way to store energy in least harmful way. They also have zero impact after they are produced, none of the materials ware burned or destroyed and can be recyclable infinite times.
nuclear on the other hand is something no one wants (like you mentioned) because it is expensive, dangerous to the workers and populated areas near it and also produces the most toxic waste ever known to humans... so yeah...
 
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