Google has announced that it will reach its 100% renewable electricity goal in 2017.
During the COP21 climate negotiations last year, Google joined RE100 – an ever-expanding group of the world’s most influential companies committed to 100% renewable power, led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP.
Google had an interim goal to triple its renewable energy purchasing by 2025. But the internet giant is going to reach 100% renewable power sooner than expected.
Today, Google is the world’s largest corporate buyer of renewable power, with commitments totalling 2.6 gigawatts of wind and solar energy. The company will meet the 100% milestone through a combination of direct purchases from renewable developers and through partnerships with utility providers.
Damian Ryan, Acting CEO of The Climate Group, welcomed the news: “Our sincere congratulations to Google on reaching this fantastic milestone earlier than expected – it shows companies everywhere that a complete transition to renewable power is both possible and makes business sense.”
In a blog, Google’s Senior Vice President, Technical Infrastructure, Urs Hölzle highlighted the business case for corporates to switch to renewables: “Over the last six years, the cost of wind and solar came down 60% and 80%, respectively, proving that renewables are increasingly becoming the lowest cost option.
He continued: “Electricity costs are one of the largest components of our operating expenses at our data centers, and having a long-term stable cost of renewable power provides protection against price swings in energy.”
Also today, Google has published a white paper setting out its longer-term ambition to help green the entire electricity grid with clean, zero-carbon energy. Its plans include promoting policies that empower energy consumers to choose their energy supply.
“The science tells us that tackling climate change is an urgent global priority”, wrote Urs Hölzle in his blog. “We believe the private sector, in partnership with policy leaders, must take bold steps and that we can do so in a way that leads to growth and opportunity”…“Our ultimate goal is to create a world where everyone – not just Google – has access to clean energy.”
Damian Ryan responded: “Google has already been a driving force within RE100 and we’re delighted that the company wants to go further and use its influence to help decarbonize the grid. Google’s continued leadership will help many more businesses to reach their own goals for 100% renewable power.”
Google was one of several companies to back a recent RE100 report calling on EU policy makers to put renewables center-stage.