Google Bets On Wind To Power Its Data Centres

UN SDGs07 Affordable And Clean Energy 13 Climate Action 17 Partnership For The Goals
CategoryEnergy And Utilities
Tags#Clean Energy #Data Management #Wind Power

Google announced at the beginning of February (2024) that it has signed agreements to purchase energy from two new offshore wind farms being built off the coast of the Netherlands. The deals reflect Google’s ongoing efforts to power its energy-hungry data centres with renewable sources and reduce its carbon footprint.

The two wind farms, being developed by consortiums led by Royal Dutch Shell and Eneco, will provide a combined 700 megawatts of wind energy capacity. That’s enough to power about 6% of the Netherlands’ annual electricity demand.

For Google, the purchases will allow its two data centres in the Netherlands to operate on approximately 90% clean energy as soon as this year. The company has signed similar renewable energy deals to support data centres in Poland, Italy and Belgium as part of its goal to match every hour of data centre energy use with an hour of clean power by 2030.

However, the growing energy demands of data centres and artificial intelligence technologies threatens to undermine progress on renewables. Electricity consumption at US data centres alone is expected to triple by 2030. This tech-fueled demand is now delaying the retirement of nearly 24 coal plants in the US that were slated to close in the coming years. Once again, Silicon Valley’s breakneck innovation leaves a trail of unintended consequences. Google’s Dutch wind gambit is a step toward a sustainable future, but the industry still has a long way to go.


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