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Google, Apple, Facebook race towards 100% renewable energy target

December 6, 2016

Google, Apple, Facebook race towards 100% renewable energy target

Alison Moodie
Tuesday 6 December 2016 16.53 GMT

Tech giants are jockeying to be the first to hit a 100% renewable energy goal. Google, which has invested in solar and wind energy for a decade, intends to get there by 2017.

Google is the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy, and plans to buy enough wind and solar energy to offset all the electricity used by its 13 data centers and offices in 150 cities worldwide, the company said Tuesday.

Apple seems close to reaching its own 100% goal as well. The company said it achieved 93% in 2015. An Apple spokeswoman said the company has yet to set a year for when they would likely cross the finish line.

For Google, hitting the 100% target means for every unit of electricity it consumes – typically from coal or natural gas power plants – it would buy a unit of wind or solar electricity. The company wouldn’t say how much electricity it will need to have purchased by the end of next year to reach its 100% goal, but did say that the amount would exceed the 5.7 terawatt-hours solar and wind energy that it bought in 2015.

“We want to run our business in an environmentally responsible way, and energy consumption is the largest portion,” said Neha Palmer, head of energy strategy and development at Google’s Global Infrastructure Group.

Google is taking a big leap to that 100% goal, having achieved just 37% in 2014. The company has invested in renewable energy ever since it kicked off the construction of a 1.6-megawatt solar energy system in 2006. Since 2010, it’s signed 2.6 gigawatts worth of solar and wind contracts.

The tech giant isn’t alone in setting the 100% target. A global campaign to promote 100% renewable energy use in the business world includes Ikea, Facebook, Starbucks and Johnson & Johnson.

Read more at The Guardian.

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