Rick Needham, Google’s Director of Energy and Sustainability spoke with CNBC and said that the company is investing in increasing its 34 percent use of renewable energy to 100 percent.
“That’s through a combination of renewable resources that are in the utility areas we operate, as well as the direct power procurements we’ve done,” he told CNBC. ‘Our goal is to be 100 percent renewable powered. There’s lots of challenges in getting there, not the least of which is operating in many jurisdictions that in different parts of the world.”
Google spent over $2.25 billion last quarter on data centres and infrastructure, giving the company reason to use solar, wind and other renewable energies to cut everyday costs.
Needham said, “We’ve invested over a billion dollars in 15 projects that have the capacity to produce two gigawatts of power around the world, mostly in the US, but that’s the equivalent of Hoover’s Dam worth of power generation.”
Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating Station, which Google has recently opened, is located on federal land on the California-Nevada border southwest of Las Vegas. The field of mirrors rein in solar and cuts energy costs.
“The fact is that all of these things, procuring power for ourselves, investing in power plants, renewable power plants, they all make business sense, they make sense for us a company to do. We rely on power for our business,” Needham adds.
Other companies in Silicon Valley are as devoted as Google in investing in sources of renewable energy.
“Silicon Valley is leading the charge to be more efficient, to work on solutions to some of these problems,” said BenSchachter, senior internet analyst at Macquarie Securities. “Google is ahead of the pack and we’ll have to wait and see how it works out. They are certainly trying many different initiatives to figure out how best to manage their footprint in the environment, as well as how to manage the cost of all their energy.”