The enormous amount of energy that needs to be consumed to power the world’s ever-increasing collection of data centers has been an open secret for a while now. While The Cloud is often advertised as this omnipresent and weightless concept, its implementation results in a significant real-world impact of the cloud on the environment. Due to the massive energy consumption needed to store the world’s data, cloud storage negatively impacts the environment, contributing a large share of the fossil fuels released into the atmosphere.
Leading tech companies like Google, who benefit the most from these vital resources, are working toward addressing these environmental issues related to cloud storage. They are looking to implement environmentally friendly and sustainable solutions, from energy-saving data centers to clean energy. And they are willing to spend the big bucks to support this innovation.
On September 20, 2019, Google announced it was investing $3.3 billion to expand its data center presence in Europe and pledged that the facilities would be environmentally friendly and rely more and more on renewable energy sources.1 A fitting announcement for the global tech giant to make on the start of the Global Climate Strike Day.
“Today I’m announcing that nearly half of the megawatts produced will be here in Europe, through the launch of 10 renewable energy projects. These agreements will spur the construction of more than 1 billion euros in new energy infrastructure in the EU, ranging from a new offshore wind project in Belgium, to five solar energy projects in Denmark, and two wind energy projects in Sweden. In Finland, we are committing to two new wind energy projects that will more than double our renewable energy capacity in the country, and ensure we continue to match almost all of the electricity consumption at our Finnish data center with local carbon-free sources, even as we grow our operations.” – Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google 2
Earlier that week, Google had announced 18 new renewable energy deals in the U.S., Chile, and Europe. The largest package of clean energy deals Google has made yet – a package that includes a total of 1,600 megawatts of wind and solar agreements, bringing the tech companies current set of renewable energy agreement to around 5,500 megawatts.3
Google’s commitment toward sustainability and mitigating the negative impact of The Cloud on the environment extends outside of its profit-making operations to the community at large.
“Beyond our own operations, we’re working to make clean energy mainstream and break down the barriers for those who want to purchase renewable energy. Today we’re announcing two new grants from Google.org to provide further support for organizations that expand access to clean energy for all businesses—from flower shops to big-box retailers to startups.” – Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google 4
These grants and renewable energy agreements are just some of the ways Google aims to tackle climate change throughout the globe. A commitment we all wish the world’s major corporations shared.
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