Google going renewable

Erik Hultgren, News Reporter

Before 2017, Google had not been the most eco-friendly company.
According to the New York Times, Google alone used roughly the same amount of energy as the whole city of San Francisco last year.
But as the New Year has arrived, Google has thought up a resolution of their own. According to Joe Kava, Google’s senior vice president of technical infrastructure, Google plans to run on 100% renewable energy in 2017.
Powering its 13 data centers and 150 global offices exclusively with renewable energy is not going to be easy for the tech giants, and it surely will not be cheap, but the company is adamant that it is a good investment.
“We are the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy in the world,” said Kava “It’s good for the economy, good for business and good for our shareholders.”
Not to mention renewable energy is significantly better for the environment. In addition to all of the benefits that Kava previously stated, he went on to say that using renewable energy such as solar panels or wind turbines will help Google plan more effectively because the price of renewable energy does not change.
So new year, new Google? Not exactly. Although Google will be paying their respective power company for renewable energy, that does not necessarily mean every computer at Google runs off solar or wind power.
The power company that Google chooses to do business with likely operates on an energy grid which receives power from a variety of sources. So when Google pays for renewable energy, they are merely paying for it to be added to the power grid, and from there it is anyone’s guess where it goes.
Chris Warren, vice president of communications at the Institute for Energy Research, let his opinion be known that the whole thing is just a stunt.
“In my mind it’s a P.R. gimmick,” said Warren, “If they think they can actually support themselves with wind and solar panels, they should connect them directly to their data centers.”
` Warren may have a valid point, but nonetheless, 100% of the energy that Google purchases will be renewable in the year of 2017.

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