Google Eliminates Carbon Legacy, to be Carbon-Free by 2030

Posted on September 14, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Google with 9 Comments

Google announced today that it has eliminated its entire carbon legacy and that its lifetime net carbon footprint is now zero. And by 2030, Google plans to run its business on carbon-free energy everywhere, and at all times.

“Sustainability has been a core value for us since Larry and Sergey founded Google two decades ago,” Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai writes in the announcement post. “We were the first major company to become carbon neutral in 2007. We were the first major company to match our energy use with 100 percent renewable energy in 2017. We operate the cleanest global cloud in the industry, and we’re the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy.”

But now Google is going even further: In addition to eliminating its entire carbon legacy, Google is the first major company to make a commitment to operate on 24/7 carbon-free energy in all of its data centers and campuses worldwide. “This is far more challenging than the traditional approach of matching energy usage with renewable energy,” Pichai explains, “but we’re working to get this done by 2030.”

To achieve that goal, Google will invest in approaches that make it possible to source reliable carbon-free energy in all of its locations, at all times of day.

“We’ll do things like pairing wind and solar power sources together, and increasing our use of battery storage,” Pichai adds. “And we’re working on ways to apply AI to optimize our electricity demand and forecasting. These efforts will help create 12,000 jobs by 2025. Importantly, we think our work can accelerate the availability of clean energy in communities worldwide, and help to solve challenges that have held back its ability to become an around-the-clock source of energy.”

If you’re interested in these efforts, Google has published a whitepaper.

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