Online behemoth Google announced Tuesday that it will run entirely on renewable energy during 2017.
Although the internet powerhouse consumed as much energy as the city of San Francisco last year, it is poised to meet its goal of only renewable energy this year and be the first company of its kind to do so, according to The New York Times.
Although Google will run entirely on wind and solar energy, it will do so through the same power grid used by every other energy company, but under agreements with renewable energy producers that guarantee Google will buy the renewable energy they produce. These guarantees assure that renewable energy companies can get bank financing to build more wind turbines or solar panels, according to the Times.
In essence, some of Google’s energy may come from traditional sources like natural gas or coal, but they will then pay for credits that go back into renewable energy in other areas. The net effect is that enough renewable energy is used to provide for Google’s huge energy needs, according to Tech Crunch.
“We are the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy in the world,” said Google senior vice president of technical infrastructure Joe Kava. “It’s good for the economy, good for business, and good for our shareholders,” The New York Times reported.
When large companies like Google invest in renewable energy like wind power, the cost goes down for everyone, which encourages more consumers to use it. In places like Chile, Google said, renewable energy has sometimes even become cheaper than fossil fuels, according to The New York Times.
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