Google aims to power data centers and offices using carbon-free electricity

Alphabet’s Google aims to power its data centers and offices using solely carbon-free electricity by 2030, Reuters reported.

Google earlier said its previous goal was aimed at use of energy with 100 percent renewable energy.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the “stretch goal” 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.

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.

Google, which consumes slightly more power annually worldwide than residents and businesses in Delaware, has grown optimistic that it can bridge the gap with batteries to store solar power overnight, emerging sources such as geothermal reservoirs and better management of power needs.

“To plan 24/7 hourly being carbon-free in our data centers and campuses around the world, we see an enormous logistics challenge, which is why we’ve been hard at work modeling the last year how to get there,” Pichai said. “And we feel confident we can get there by 2030.”

Google rivals including Microsoft and Amazon.com have targeted removing more carbon from the atmosphere than they emit over the coming decades, but none of them have publicly set a goal to stop sourcing carbon-based energy.

The company’s new goals include bringing 5 gigawatts of renewable energy near some suppliers, funding tree planting beyond its offset needs and sharing data or forging partnerships with 500 governments around the world to try to cut 1 gigaton of carbon emissions annually by 2030.

Google said it would continue to offset carbon emissions unrelated to electricity use, such as from employee travel.