2021-10-28
http://w3.windfair.net/wind-energy/news/38597-google-engie-germany-data-center-electricity-power-green-energy-transition-flexible-renewable-energy-wind-solar-site-location

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Clouds are turning green: Google to use green electricity in Germany

IT corporations need a lot of electricity. To improve their carbon footprint, major companies have thus been investing in switching to green electricity for some time. The high availability of renewable energies has now tipped the scales in favor of Internet giant Google investing around one billion euros in Germany in the coming years to make its cloud services greener. Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Google's cloud services in Germany will soon be primarily powered by green electricity (Image: Pixabay)Google's cloud services in Germany will soon be primarily powered by green electricity (Image: Pixabay)

"Imagine a world where you could decarbonize your business just by asking your energy provider to do so. That’s exactly what we’re setting out to do at Google: to show it can be done, but more importantly, to make it easier for others to do the same," said Marc Oman, Senior Lead at Google Data Center Energy & Infrastructure.

To achieve this goal, French energy company ENGIE and U.S. Internet giant Google this week signed a PPA that will ensure Google sources electricity for its data centers in Germany from renewable sources in the future. Under the agreement, ENGIE will assemble an energy portfolio and ensure that Google is supplied with nearly 80% carbon-free energy from solar and wind projects every hour. It is the first time in Europe that such a contract has been signed, in which an energy company guarantees to supply electricity from renewable sources 24/7 on an annual basis.

For Google, however, this is only the first step in achieving its major goal of supplying 100 percent carbon-free energy to all its sites worldwide by 2030. Further extensive investments are therefore necessary: between 2021 and 2030, Google plans to invest around 1 billion euros in digital infrastructure and clean energy in Germany. The Group also hopes that their announcement will encourage other companies to work together to decarbonize electricity consumption.

Google hopes to set an example for other corporations with its open approach to the issue (Image: Pixabay)

"Sourcing carbon-free energy every hour of the day is an incredibly difficult task and will require innovative technological and contractual solutions," the company said. "In 2010, Google became an early pioneer of purchasing carbon-free energy through individual Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), complex arrangements that not all energy customers are able to use. To completely decarbonize our operations -- and to make it easier for other organizations to do the same -- we are working with our partners to rethink how we buy carbon-free electricity."

Although it often seems that policymakers are not very interested in expanding renewables, the ability to deliver clean energy in large quantities has long become a factor in site selection and related investment. This is confirmed by Andreas Kuhlmann, CEO of the German Energy Agency (dena): "The agreement between Google and Engie on the direct purchase (PPA) of renewable energy underlines the growing importance of this sales channel. PPAs are becoming a crucial pillar of the energy transition. Majority industrial, commercial and service customers see them as a way to hedge their renewable-based power purchases against rising electricity prices in the long term, while decarbonizing their own processes and activities."

Wind and solar farms provide the power for Google's services in Germany and beyond (Image: Pixabay)

German Economics Minister Peter Altmaier also sees the benefits: "I am very pleased that Google is relying on Germany as a business location! 1 billion euros by 2030 is a strong signal. It's about green energy and digital infrastructure. The cloud region Frankfurt will grow, a new cloud region Berlin-Brandenburg will emerge. In the future, around 80% of the energy consumption of the data centers and cloud services is to come from renewable energies at every hour. This shows: Green energy has long been a key factor in the choice of location."

Google is counting on other corporations to follow suit. "We will continue to report on our progress, and to share tools and best practices with the wider industry to advance decarbonization on a global scale," Oman said. Looking ahead, even higher electricity demand is not a problem at Google: the contract is designed to be flexible, so it can be adjusted accordingly.

Author:
Katrin Radtke
Email:
presse@windmesse.de
Keywords:
Google, ENGIE, germany, data center, electricity, power, green, energy transition, flexible, renewable energy, wind, solar, site, location



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