Google—leading the charge in the renewable energy market
Excessive consumption of fossil fuels has been much maligned in recent years, especially with conversation surrounding the perils of global warming and carbon emissions truly hotting up. As a result investment in alternative energy sources is rising in direct tandem, with the likes of electric ‘rechargeable’ cars expected to become mainstream within the next decade (which would effectively render petrol and diesel redundant in the automotive industry).
Alongside the growth of rechargeable power sources and developments in solar panels, renewable energy is gaining traction to reduce humans’ dependence on fossil fuels. One such company leading the way in renewable energy is tech giants Google, with reports afoot that the company will offset its considerable energy needs by using or buying renewables as early as next year.
Incredibly (but perhaps not surprisingly), Google’s entire corporation use as much energy as the entire US city of San Francisco—just last year alone Google’s electricity consumption (5.7 terawatt-hours) was enough to power a city of almost 300,000 people. However, thanks to its newly unveiled initiative, the company is soon to reduce its carbon footprint significantly thanks to plans to meet its energy needs with wind farms and solar panels. Deals are already in place between Google and a number of leading renewable energy suppliers, with the company planning to purchase from renewable sources the equivalent of its fossil fuel consumption, which in turn will allow these firms to invest in new infrastructure to further expand their already significant work. Naturally Google will be the world’s biggest corporate buyer of renewable power, with its investment set to pump $3.5bn into the renewable market across the globe.
Marked as “just the beginning” for Google’s venture into the benevolent world of renewable energy, Google’s SVP of Technical Infrastructure Urs Holzle has big plans for the company’s future: “I'm thrilled to announce that in 2017 Google will reach 100% renewable energy on our global energy, [with] our ultimate aim to create a world where everyone—not just Google—has access to clean energy”. This is a very worthy objective, but even Google attests that it’s not just good for the environment but it makes savvy business sense too, saying that by using renewable energy this protects Google from price fluctuations in the oil market.
This inevitably begs the question: are Google destined to be the first of many to ditch harmful fossil fuels in favour of more environmentally-friendly and sustainable energy from renewable sources? That statmenet remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure—Google’s foray into renewable energy will surely see other companies following their lead.
2017 could be the start of the renewable energy revolution…