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article imageGoogle to reach 100 percent renewable energy milestone this year

By James Walker     Oct 11, 2017 in Technology
Google has announced it will be running its entire business on renewable energy by the end of 2017. The achievement will underline Google's work in sustainability and environmental protection, demonstrating the cloud era doesn’t have to harm the planet.
Google's been talking about its renewable energy aims for a few years. In its latest environmental report, it said the 100% renewable target will be reached before the end of the year. All of Google's data centres and offices across the globe will be run on "clean" forms of energy.
"Google will reach 100 percent renewable energy for our global operations – including both our data centers and offices," the company explained. "That means that we will directly purchase enough wind and solar electricity annually to account for every unit of electricity we consume, globally."
From neutral to renewable
Google's been operating as a carbon neutral company since 2007 and has repeatedly emphasised its commitment to offsetting the environmental impact of its business. Considering that Google alone can consume as much energy as an entire city during a year, the company's efforts to negate the harmful effects of its consumption are a significant aid to the environment.
Reaching 100 percent renewable energy use isn't the end of the road for Google. It's expanding its efforts to create a "breathing dashboard" of the planet under its Earth Outreach program. The technology uses AI-powered machine learning insights to translate Google's geo-data into insights on how environmental challenges could be solved.
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Earth Outreach is based on Google's consumer-focused Earth planet exploration software. This makes it accessible and offers built-in visualisation of environmental data in a way organisations already understand. Now it's reaching sustainability targets within its own business, Google wants to use its data to help other firms, communities and cities to replicate its success.
Sustainable growth
The next few years could see substantial increases in electricity consumption as more datacentres, electric vehicles and autonomous assistants are brought offline. Although fossil fuel usage is expected to decline, the rush towards the digital economy will create new strains on the environment as demand for electricity grows.
Datacentres can consume as much power as the town they're located next to, making use of efficient renewable sources important for the operator and the environment. Google's leading the way as it reduces its environmental footprint, showing the new crowds of datacentre owners how they can make the switch too.
"Google is moving in the right direction when it comes to environmental stewardship—but there’s a lot more work to do," said Google. "We’re looking ahead at the next 10 years of decreasing our impact on the earth while building technology that helps as many people as possible."
More about Google, Cloud, datacentres, Environment, Energy