Monday, 12 September 2011

Google guzzles 2.3b kilowatt-hours of electricity a year

Stung by concerns that using Google is bad for the planet, the internet search giant has revealed exactly how much electricity the company uses and how much greenhouse gases it produces in an effort to show its business model is environmentally friendly.

Experts say it's true: watching a video on Google's YouTube site is indeed more energy-efficient than watching a DVD that had to be manufactured, packaged, shipped and purchased.

Talking about sustainability is a popular marketing tool, but Google has made renewable energy and environmental protection part of both its corporate identity and its operations in a way that is unique in corporate America. Google's philanthropic arm funds projects aiming to make renewable energy cheaper than coal power.

The company purchases large blocks of renewable energy directly from power generators. Google has invested nearly $US1 billion in renewable energy projects, including wind farms in North Dakota, California, and Oregon, solar projects in California and Germany, and the beginnings of a transmission system off the East Coast in the US meant to foster the construction of offshore wind farms.

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