Internet giant Google has set a lofty energy goal: 100% renewable energy for its entire global operations by 2017. In a blog post detailing the effort, Google stated they plan to buy enough wind and solar electricity annually to account for every unit of electricity consumed by their operations.
Google is already a clean energy leader in the tech industry with agreements dating back to 2010. Their 20 current renewable energy projects make them the largest corporate buyer of renewable power. Other tech giants have focused heavily on renewable energy as well, with Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon all continuing to invest in wind and solar.
Traditionally data centers, including Google's, have a complex network of power delivery options including the public utility grid, renewable sources, and standby generators.
Looking to the future, Google made it clear that 100% renewable isn't the end. Electricity cost is one of the largest expenses of data centers so Google aims to keep investing and growing in this effort. Google engineers continue to focus on efficiency with current numbers putting Google at 50% above the industry efficiency average.
This announcement definitely feels like a breath of fresh air.