Google first achieved carbon neutrality all the way back in 2007 and since 2017, the search giant has purchased enough solar and wind energy to match 100 percent of its global electricity consumption. However, completely decarbonizing its data center electricity supply is the next step in realizing a carbon-free future and supporting its customers with the cleanest cloud computing service in the industry.
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As the company works to achieve its new sustainability goal, each Google Cloud region will be supplied by a mix of more and more carbon-free energy and less fossil-based energy.
Carbon Free Energy Percentage
In order to measure its progress, Google Cloud has created a new Carbon Free Energy Percentage (CFE%) and the company has even provided further details on how it calculates CFE% in a new report, saying:
“This is the average percentage of carbon free energy consumed in a particular location on an hourly basis, while taking into account the investments we have made in renewable energy in that location. This means that in addition to the carbon free energy that's already supplied by the grid, we have added renewable energy generation in that location to reach our 24/7 carbon free energy objective. As a customer, this represents the average percentage of time your application will be running on carbon-free energy.”
As the company has released the average hourly CFE% for the majority of its Google Cloud regions, customers can now select a region based on the carbon-free energy supplying it. For instance, Salesforce is already integrating environmental impact into its IT strategy as the software giant works to decarbonize the services it provides to its customers.
We'll likely more from Google Cloud once the company gets closer to achieving its latest sustainability goal but it seems it's already off to a good start.
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