Google Renewable Energy at 100 Percent


Forward-thinking companies continually prioritize sustainability in business models. One such company is Google, which recently reached a goal they made on Twitter nearly a year ago: to be 100 percent powered by renewable energy.

Google’s “electricity consumption is considerable, but for them to meet that already by buying renewable energy is a huge achievement,” said Kyle Harrison, Associate of Corporate Energy Strategy at Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

According to Grace Donnelly of Fortune, Google’s search volume on their website is in the trillions every year. All of the processing power such traffic requires indicated that they had a way to go before Google renewable energy would be at 100 percent. It is an unprecedented win for Google to have fulfilled their promise so quickly.

The company’s announcement comes on the heels of Google’s acquisition of 535 megawatts, which they obtained through newly signed contracts with three wind power plants. This move is what gave the company the gigawatts they needed in solar and wind capacity to complete the Google renewable energy project.

The biggest contributor to Google’s achievement is the ever decreasing cost of renewable energy with wind and solar energy now costing 60 to 80 percent less.

“With solar and wind declining dramatically in cost and propelling significant employment growth, the transition to clean energy is driving unprecedented economic opportunity and doing so faster than we ever anticipated,” said Gary Demasi, Global Infrastructure Director at Google.

The increased interest that consumers have shown in making a positive impact on the planet has lead to the revolution of corporate social responsibility across all industries. Google is not the only company working toward sustainability through their business model.

Amazon, for example, is currently building a wind farm in Texas that houses over 100 turbines and will add enough clean energy to the local grid to power 90,000 American homes for a year.

Facebook is another company on the path to a more sustainable country with their data center currently under construction. The massive center, slated to open in 2019, will source 100 percent renewable energy as well.

Kohl’s Department Stores has been dubbed the EPA’s top green power-using retailer in the country every year since 2009. It’s evident the company is willing to go great lengths for its sustainability goals considering about 90 percent of its stores across the country are Energy-Star certified and 163 locations feature on-site solar panels.

Apple designed its new main campus to be powered by 100 percent renewable energy. They now source renewable energy to power 100 percent of  operations in the U.S., China, and 21 other countries. In fact, Apple’s renewable energy accounted for 93 percent of its global overall operations in 2016.

The Google renewable energy project aims to make tangible changes to its respective communities. Its investment in solar and wind power does not only achieve this by benefiting the environment, but by generating jobs. In fact, renewable energy has created more jobs than the fossil fuel industry. With such promising improvements to the environment, we should be seeing more companies following Google’s path toward sustainability.

Mariana Cid