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Google aims to secure enough Renewable Energy to meet all of its Electricity needs throughout the World

Google is aiming to secure enough renewable energy to meet all of its electricity needs

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Technology Giant Google. Pixabay

San Francisco Dec 7, 2016: Reduction of environmental pollution is a major concern of the entire world today. In an effort to do so, Google has taken a major step in its quest to reduce pollution caused by its digital services that devour massive amounts of electricity.

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In the beginning of next year, Google is aiming to secure enough renewable energy to meet all of its electricity needs throughout the world.

The initiative is of enormous significance since the internet company has the ravenous appetite for electricity to power its offices and the huge data centres that process requests on its dominant search engine, store Gmail, YouTube video clips and photos for more than a billion people.

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According to PTI, nearly 13 data centres and offices of Google consume about 5.7 terawatts of electricity annually, which is nearly the same amount as that of entire San Francisco, where more than 800,000 people live and tens of thousands of others come to work and visit.

Although, this is not an easy task and cannot be accomplished any sooner relying solely on the wind, and solar power for its operations. The complicated way of arrangements of power grids and regulations around the US and rest of the world makes it quite difficult.

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Google instead believes it is now in a position to offset every megawatt hour of electricity supplied by a power plant running on fossil fuels with renewable energy that the Mountain View, California, company has purchased through a variety of contracts.

About 95 percent of Google’s renewable energy deals come from wind power farms, with the remainder from solar power.

Gary Cook, senior energy campaigner for the environmental group Greenpeace said nearly 20 other technology companies also have pledged to secure enough renewable energy to power their worldwide operations.

prepared by Saptaparni Goon of NewsGram with PTI inputs. Twitter: @saptaparni_goon

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Solar Leads Decade of Investment in Renewable Energy

A record 167 GW of new renewable energy capacity was completed in 2018, up from 160 GW in 2017

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FILE - Workers clean photovoltaic panels at a solar power plant in Gujarat, India, July 2, 2015. VOA

Global investment in new renewable energy capacity this decade — 2010 to 2019 inclusive — is on course to hit $2.6 trillion, with more gigawatts of solar power capacity installed than any other generation technology, new figures published on Thursday said.

According to the Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2019 report, released ahead of the UN Global Climate Action Summit on September 23, this investment is set to have roughly quadrupled renewable energy capacity (excluding large hydro of more than 50MW) from 414 GW at the end of 2009 to 1,650 GW when the decade closes at the end of this year.

Solar power will have drawn half — $1.3 trillion — of the $2.6 trillion in renewable energy investments made over the decade.

By this year’s end, solar capacity will have risen to more than 26 times the 2009 level — from 25 GW to an estimated 663 GW, an increase of 638 GW.

The global share of electricity generation accounted for by renewables reached 12.9 per cent in 2018, up from 11.6 per cent in 2017.

This avoided an estimated two billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions last year alone — a substantial saving given global power sector emissions of 13.7 billion tonnes in 2018.

Including all generating technologies (fossil and zero-carbon), the decade is set to see a net 2,366 GW of additional power capacity installed, with solar accounting for the largest single share (638 GW), coal second (529 GW), and wind and gas in third and fourth places (487 GW and 438 GW, respectively).

Global, Energy, Climate Change
In the next 30 years, the world will see a dramatic rise in energy demand due to the impact of climate change, say researchers. Pixabay

The cost-competitiveness of renewables has also risen dramatically over the decade.

The levelized cost of electricity (a measure that allows comparison of different methods of electricity generation on a consistent basis) is down 81 per cent for solar photovoltaics since 2009; that for onshore wind is down 46 per cent.

“Investing in renewable energy is investing in a sustainable and profitable future, as the last decade of incredible growth in renewables has shown,” UN Environment Programme Executive Director Inger Andersen said in a statement.

“But we cannot afford to be complacent. Global power sector emissions have risen about 10 per cent over this period. It is clear that we need to rapidly step up the pace of the global switch to renewables if we are to meet international climate and development goals.”

Also Read: LG Introduces its Upgraded Dual-screen 5G Phone at IFA 2019

The report, released annually since 2007, also continued its traditional look at yearly figures, with global investment in renewables capacity hitting $272.9 billion in 2018.

While this was 12 per cent down over the previous year, 2018 was the ninth successive year in which capacity investment exceeded $200 billion and the fifth successive year above $250 billion.

It was also about three times the global investment in coal and gas-fired generation capacity combined.

The 2018 figure was achieved despite continuing falls in the capital cost of solar and wind projects, and despite a policy change that hit investment in China in the second half of the year.

A record 167 GW of new renewable energy capacity was completed in 2018, up from 160 GW in 2017. (IANS)