Google recently announced that it is “focused on achieving our moonshot goal of 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy (CFE) by 2030”.
How? By decarbonizing the grid. Which would mean using clean, green energy generated by a variety of technologies (such as wind, solar and water).
In a bid to achieve the aforementioned “moonshot goal”, Google is building upon a previous purchase of 114 MW of wind power in Iowa. The deal, signed way back in 2010, saw Google purchase 114 megawatts of clean energy from NextEra Energy Resources, establishing Google a pioneer in the data center space by allowing Google to buy renewable energy directly from suppliers operating on the same grids as its data centers.
A Google spokesperson at the time explained: “Google is interested in procuring more renewable energy as part of our carbon neutrality commitment, and the ability to buy and sell energy on the wholesale market could give us more flexibility in doing so. We made this filing so we can have more flexibility in procuring power for Google’s own operations, including our data centers.”
12 years later and Google has made the Iowa model global. Now, Google operates on the same grids as clean energy sources across Belgium, Denmark, Chile and Finland, and shows no sign of stopping until that 24/7 CFE target is achieved.
And, being as data centers are the most-connected spaces on the planet, when it comes to future proofing office space, CRE should 100% look at what data centers and big tech are doing as pioneers in the space.
If Google achieves its goal of 24/7 CFE by 2030, this would have a ripple effect across all industries. Not only is the working world semi-reliant upon Google (be that through Gmail, using shared documents in the Google Drive, or simply Googling how to spell a particularly tricky piece of lingo), but Google’s out-of-the-ordinary tech solutionism often scales-up to impact the majority. In other words, where Google goes, the rest often follow.
So, what can be done today to ensure that developments won’t fall by the carbon wayside? WiredScore’s Global Director of Research & Development, Sanjaya Ranasinghe, digs into the technicalities:
- Buildings getting their electricity from renewable providers (note: this doesn’t mean it actually comes from renewable sources)
- Buildings becoming fully electric, i.e: not requiring gas for heating and cooling
- Buildings having some of their power provided by off-grid energy generation from wind or solar
- Buildings planning on how new battery technology can play a part in their power strategy