Google set to hit renewable energy milestone

Google plans to run its entire operations using renewable power.

Google's global operations will be powered solely by renewable energy by the end of 2017, the web giant has announced.

The firm expects to run its data centres and offices entirely on sources such as wind and solar, as it has been steadily ramping up the amount of green energy it purchases to the point where it is now the largest global corporate buyer of renewable power.

It sources 2.6 gigawatts in this way - more than double that of nearest competitor Amazon - and Urs Hölzlem, senior vice-president of technical infrastructure at Google, said in a blogpost that it is looking at ways to reduce its dependency on wind power, which accounts for the vast majority of its renewable energy at present.

"Since the wind doesn’t blow 24 hours a day, we’ll also broaden our purchases to a variety of energy sources that can enable renewable power, every hour of every day," he remarked.

Google says its renewable energy purchases also have a positive impact on broader energy infrastructure, with investments of more than $3.5 billion (£2.9 billion) globally resulting from its purchasing commitments.

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