Google aims to bring more green energy to AsiaApril 11, 2016
The internet giant has announced its plans to provide seed funding to a non-profit that promotes renewable energy.
Google has already made a long-term commitment to power 100% of its operations with green energy sourced from renewables. To date, the company has purchased over 2 gigawatts (GW) of clean power, which has made it the world’s current largest non-utility purchaser of renewables. Now, according to the company’s official Asia Pacific blog, Google is aiming to boost its green power efforts in Asia by providing seed funding to the Center for Resource Solutions (CRS), a non-profit organization with more than 20 years of experience in developing and operating renewable energy certification programs.
Effective certification programs of this type are not readily available in Asia.
Google’s data centers help them provide people with faster and greater reliable access to their tools and services. However, their data centers also make up the majority of the company’s electricity consumption. While Google is working on making all of its data centers 100% renewable, it faces a challenge with its data centers in Taiwan and Singapore because effective renewable energy certification programs don’t exist in Asia.
These kinds of programs are vital for companies like Google that want to make the switch to renewable power. The reason is that the programs help to ensure that the energy which is being purchased actually comes from a renewable source. These programs function by “tagging” each end every megawatt hour (MWh) of energy produced from a source such as solar, wind, etc. as renewable. This creates what is known as a renewable energy certificate (REC).
Ensuring that actual renewable power is purchased for its Asian data centers is important to Google, which is why it has invested in CRS.
CRS will examine how to best structure these green energy programs across Asia.
Renewable energy certification programs are critical to developing voluntary and effectively functioning renewable energy markets.
According to the blog, “RECs are a critical instrument to ensuring that renewable energy purchasing claims are accurate and verifiable. They have played a key role in enabling companies in the United States to grow their renewable energy purchasing from about 100 MW in 2012 to over 3,000 MW last year.”
CRS will examine how to best structure these programs across Asia with Google’s support and will also start to develop a coalition of international stakeholders from the private, public and NGO sectors to further advance these green energy efforts.