“The science tells us that tackling climate change is an urgent global priority. 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. And we have a responsibility to do so — to our users and the environment”. – Urs Hölzle, Senior Vice President for Technical Infrastructure at Google.
Is Google taking bold steps? During this lecture, Google will give us an insight of their energy strategy and discuss the energy usage and efficiency of their data centres. A chance for you to ask questions and to discuss the role of the industry in the energy transition.
More information will follow soon.
Internet means energy.. A lot
We all know Google. But what do we know about their Energy Strategy? You switch on the light, you turn on the heating and start up your computer. It is clear to you that all these actions cost energy. But the moment you sit down and start surfing the internet, you may not realize that we need a lot of energy to process all the trillions of Google searches every year, or to play one of the more than 400 hours of YouTube videos uploaded every minute.
Purchasing renewable energy
In recent years, Google has become the world’s largest corporate buyer of renewable energy. In 2017 alone, they purchased more than seven billion kilowatt-hours of electricity (roughly as much as is used yearly by the state of Rhode Island ) from solar and wind farms that were built specifically for Google. This enabled them to match 100% of their annual electricity consumption through direct purchases of renewable energy.
Matching the energy usage
Read the word ‘match’ carefully. Google “matched” their energy usage because they state it’s not yet possible to “power” a company of their scale by 100 percent renewable energy. It’s true that for every kilowatt-hour of energy they consume, they add a matching kilowatt-hour of renewable energy to a power grid somewhere. But that renewable energy may be produced in a different place, or at a different time, from where they are running their data centers and offices.