Google announced in a blog post that it now buys more renewable energy than it consumes as a company. Google began these efforts in 2017, with the goal of buying as much renewable energy as it uses in its 13 data centers and all of its office complexes.
To be clear, Google is not boosting all its energy consumption with renewable energy. It is combining what it consumes with equal amounts of purchased renewable energy. For each kilowatt-hour of electricity consumed, buy a kilowatt-hour from a wind farm or solar built specifically for Google. The company says that its total purchase of energy from sources such as wind and solar now exceeds the amount of electricity used by its operations.
Google says it currently has contracts to buy three gigawatts of production from renewable energy projects, and although it says that "it is still not possible" to drive "a company of our scale at 100 percent renewable energy," these purchases do have a positive impact Google says it is helping to drive the development of clean energy projects, encouraging other companies to follow suit.
Several technology companies have also joined the fight against climate change, including Apple, Amazon and Microsoft. Apple Park is powered by 100% renewable energy and Apple is committed to bringing four gigawatts of renewable energy online by 2020. Amazon set a long-term goal of 100% renewable energy, and Facebook did too. These are important steps, Susanne Fratzscher, senior renewable energy consultant at the World Wildlife Fund, said in an email to The Verge in 2016. "IT companies, through their energy-intensive data centers, are among the largest consumers of energy in the world.