Giants of social media and the internet, Apple, Google, Microsoft and Facebook, have invested in sources of renewable energy to ensure their future energy supplies are green.
Google is to invest over $80m along with private equity firm KKR, to open 6 large solar powered plants across California and Arizona. The plants will have the ability to generate enough electricity for over 17,000 homes.
Over $1bn Invested In Green Energy
The project will see Google’s total investment in green energy exceed over a $billion in the last 3 years.
Google is also looking at cutting its carbon footprint and will sign long term power purchase agreements with several solar and wind energy companies.
Facebook Data Centre Powered By Wind
Meanwhile, Facebook has announced that its new data centre in Iowa will be powered completely by wind energy as it joins forces with MidAmerican Energy. Facebook’s manager of energy efficiency and sustainability, Bill Weihl said “Utilities are now much more interested in collaborating with us, and I think we are at the beginning of a period in which we could see a very rapid change in the energy mix utilities are providing in just a few short years”.
Swedish Data Centre Will Use Hydro-Power
It’s also investing in another data centre in Sweden which uses much more green energy in its mix – in fact this data centre will use 100% hydro energy. See the previous article written by Utility Exchange.
Apple Invests In Solar Power & Microsoft In Wind Energy
Apple isn’t being left behind either. The company has recently built a number of solar power arrays close to its data centres in North Carolina and Reno in Nevada. And Microsoft has signed a 20 year deal with a wind farm in Texas.
Cloud Storage Requires More Power
One reason for investing in new sources of energy is the increasing reliance on storing data in the Cloud – almost half the world’s population will be connected to the internet by 2017. This obviously requires more energy and these internet giants are keeping one step ahead by not only generating their own energy but ensuring it’s from renewable sources too.
The move to renewable energy also helps improve the image of these organisations. There had been concern that the internet was damaging the environment by increasing the amount of energy generated through coal and gas. This move by Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple will help to show a more caring image of companies concerned about their impact on the environment.
Companies Can Still Do More Says Greenpeace
The investment being made by these companies isn’t going unnoticed by environmental campaigners, such as Greenpeace. While Greenpeace still thinks they can do more, senior IT policy analyst at Greenpeace, Gary Cook, said “The changes I’m seeing from the companies in the room here are giving me big hope”.