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Tuesday Jul 5

In a move towards the company’s aim of running 100% of its operations on clean energy, Google has bought up plots in Sweden and Norway for wind farms.


 

Google has concluded a deal to purchase a large amount of clean energy from two new wind farms that are due to be built in Sweden and Norway in a bid to power its data centres in Europe.

Including this latest feat, Google has now purchased a total of 2.5 GW of clean energy from around the world to assist in powering it's computer services such as cloud computing and advertising. This amount of energy equates to that used by two large nuclear power plants. The company’s goal is to eventually be in a position where it can power all of its operations with clean energy. The first of these deals came as far back as 2010:

“Reducing energy usage and using renewables makes good business sense – we signed our first major power purchase agreement for 114 MW of Iowa wind in 2010,” said Marc Oman, EU energy lead at Google Global Infrastructure.

“Others are discovering the benefits of renewables too – in the US alone, companies bought almost 3.5 GW of renewable energy last year. We’re pleased to have played a part in stimulating the market for corporate renewable energy purchasing and doing our share in the effort to mitigate climate change.”

The plots of land for each wind farm have been purchased for a 50 turbine project near Stavanger, Norway (making it the largest wind farm in Norway) and a 22 turbine project near Mariestad in Sweden. Construction on these sites will begin in early 2017. Both the wind farms are due to use 72 turbines to produce 236 megawatts of clean energy which equates to around a 25% capacity of a large coal plant. The world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock, will provide investment to finance the projects.

Google is part of a group of online based companies such as Facebook, Amazon and Apple, who are increasingly turning to clean energy, and purchasing wind farms to power buildings and data centres. By adopting this stance towards clean power, carbon emissions, and energy costs are lower. Despite Google’s recent purchase of a data centre that is to be powered by coal in Alabama, Greenpeace have still commended Google on creating a “green cloud.”

Data centres are being earmarked as sites which consume a lot of energy, and where energy costs are high. Energy efficiency is therefore paramount to cleaner and cost-effective practice. By adopting energy software that uses outside air for cooling data centres, and using servers that can automatically reduce power when inactive, Google can deliver its services to European customers more cleanly.

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