Google announced on Tuesday that in 2017 it will reach "100% renewable energy for its global operations", which means that the company will buy enough wind and solar energy for each unit of electricity it consumes, from which its offices are powered - in more than 150 cities in nearly 60 countries - like the 13 data centers it maintains around the world.
"The 20 transactions, for a total of 2.6 Gigawatts (GW), position Google as the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in the world," said the Internet giant in a statement, in which it maintained that these decisions are motivated " both for environmental and business considerations, as renewable energy is increasingly becoming the lowest-cost option. "
In this sense, the company reported that in the last six years the costs of wind and solar energy fell by 60 and 80 percent respectively, and added that fixed-price contracts associated with renewable energies are also an important form of hedge against oil price fluctuations.
"The science of climate change tells us that achieving absolute reductions in annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, as well as long-term sustainable levels of GHGs in the atmosphere, is an urgent global imperative. Business has an important role to play. to play in the transition to a clean energy economy, ”said Florencia Bianco, Google Communications Manager for Latin America.
"Google is committed to being part of the solution, both by purchasing renewable energy for our operations, and by helping create avenues for others to purchase clean energy," he continued.
The company highlighted as part of its strategy the purchase of physical energy together with its corresponding Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), as well as the "additionality" standard under which Google searches for the purchase of energy produced in recently built facilities. giving way to new renewable energy projects in the electricity grid.
"They are projects that otherwise would not exist," Bianco said in a statement.
One of these is El Romero, located in the Atacama desert, in Chile, where the Spanish company Acciona built the largest photovoltaic plant in Latin America - of a size equivalent to 211 football stadiums -, which since 1 January 2017 will begin to inject solar energy into the electrical grid that powers Google's data center in Quilicura.
Data centers are the backbone of the Internet as they process and store large amounts of information, so "it is essential that they are powered by renewable energy," said the firm.
"In the case of Chile, El Romero will inject energy into Chile's SIC (Central Interconnected System) electrical network, the same network that feeds Google's data center," explained Sam Arons, Google's Engineering and Infrastructure manager.
"Achieving 100% renewable energy is just the beginning," said Bianco, noting that Google's long-term goal is "to power our operations with clean, carbon-free energy 24 hours a day."