In Brief
  • Google announced its data centers will be fully powered by renewable energy sources by 2017.
  • In total, the tech industry accounts for approximately two percent of all greenhouse gas emissions.

With the green revolution in full swing, many institutions are pledging to fully rely on renewable energy. Nations like Costa Rica and Spain have already sourced most of their energy from renewables, or are pledging to do so in the near future.

Now, Google has made the same promise, announcing that its data centers will be fully powered by renewable energy sources by 2017.

That’s no small promise. While Google hasn’t really been too public on its energy use, it has revealed that it bought 5.7 terawatt hours (TWh) of renewable electricity in 2015, and that was just 44 percent of its power needs.

But this new promise doesn’t really mean that all its centers will be directly powered by renewables. They’ll still get power from a power company, whose electricity source still includes fossil fuels. What the company does is match the amount of electricity it buys from renewable sources with the amount of energy it consumes.

Given that the tech industry does account for approximately two percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, enticing companies to go green will mean a lot. Google’s pledge will only serve to motivate them further towards this path.