Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks at Taj Palace Hotel on Jan. 4, 2017, in New Delhi, India. (Virendra Singh Gosain / Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Google became carbon neutral in 2007 and 10 years later, in 2017, it matched its energy use with 100 percent renewable energy.

Now, the tech giant has made a commitment to use 24/7 carbon-free energy by 2030, across its data centers and businesses worldwide.

The “stretch goal,” as CEO Sundar Pichai described it, will force Google to move beyond the tech industry norm of offsetting carbon emissions from electricity use and require technological and political breakthroughs to achieve.

Mr. Pichai said Google’s pledge to only use carbon-free energy by 2030 was its “biggest sustainability moonshot yet”.

“We’ll do things like pairing wind and solar power sources together and increasing our use of battery storage,” he said.

Wind, solar, and other renewable sources accounted for 61 percent of Google’s global hourly electricity usage last year.

The proportion varied by facility, with carbon-free sources fulfilling 96 percent of hourly power needs at Google’s wind-swept Oklahoma data center compared with 3 percent at its gas-reliant Singapore operation.

Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has over a decade of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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