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Google Cranks Renewable Energy for 2017

Google claims to be the world's biggest buyer of renewable energy, and plans to hit a milestone in 2017, buying enough renewables to 100% offset consumption of fossil fuels for global operations, including data centers and offices.

The drive to renewables isn't just a matter of principle for Google (Nasdaq: GOOG). It also helps control costs. Electrical costs are among Google's largest expenses for operating its data centers. Over the last six years, the cost of wind and solar came down 60% and 80%, respectively, "proving that renewables are increasingly becoming the lowest cost option," says Urs Hölzle, senior vice president of technical infrastructure for Google, in a blog post Tuesday. Moreover, renewable energy costs are stable, providing protection against energy price swings.

Google buys energy from power companies like everybody else, much of which is generated by fossil fuels. But Google also funds renewable energy projects to balance out that usage, so the result is that there's no net consumption of fossil fuels.

Google's purchasing commitments will result in infrastructure investments of more than $3.5 billion globally, about two thirds of that in the United States, Hölzle says.

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Kelsey Ziser 12/7/2016 | 4:01:44 PM
Carbon footprint This reminded me of a local program called NC Greenpower; residents can include a donation to NC Greenpower on utility bills to offset their carbon footprint. Great to see that Google is making strides to offset their carbon footprint and I wonder if other companies in the industry have/will follow suit in the near future. 
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