In response to Google’s announcement that it is purchasing 48 megawatts of wind power for its data centre in Oklahoma, Greenpeace International Senior IT Analyst Gary Cook released the following statement:
Google’s announcement today shows what the most forward-thinking, successful companies can accomplish when they are serious about powering their operations with clean energy. Google faced a local grid mix of over 50% coal power for its Oklahoma data center. But as a major electricity customer in the state, Google worked with its local utility to secure a new supply of renewable wind energy.
As Google powers more of its data center fleet with clean energy, it sends a signal to other IT companies and electric utilities around the world that renewable energy is not only possible, but is simply smart business in the 21st century economy.
As highlighted in this week’s New York Times series “The Cloud Factories” (1), the energy demand of our online world has real-world impacts, but Google has shown that those impacts can be positive, not negative, if they bring us more clean energy.
Google’s announcement also further sharpens the choice that people and businesses have when deciding what search, mail and cloud platforms to use. While both Google and Microsoft have committed to being “carbon neutral,” unlike Google, Microsoft has yet to significantly invest in clean energy. Microsoft has instead continue to build data centres attached to dirty sources of electricity and sought to mask its dirty energy supply with carbon offsets and renewable energy credits. If Microsoft wants environmentally-minded customers to choose Bing, Outlook and its Microsoft Office cloud, it needs to follow Google’s lead and invest in renewable energy.
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