The social network Facebook plans to cover 100% of its electricity consumption with renewable sources in 2020 to sustain its data centers, which operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Facebook recently communicated its commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 75% as well as using 100% renewable energy to boost its global operations. It intends to achieve its goal over the next two years, one more example of its commitment and its efforts to combat climate change.
Since 2013 the company has given concrete samples of its intentions to switch to renewables by investing in solar and wind energy. This time solar panels and windmills will be built on the same land where the company's data centers are located, located in Oregon, Virginia, New Mexico and Sweden.
It is noteworthy that Facebook does not bet on renewables through agreements in which it buys renewable energy in a remote geography to compensate for the energy it acquires in local markets that depend on traditional fuel. “All these wind and solar projects are new and are on the same network as our data centers. That means that each of these projects generates jobs, investments and a healthier environment for the communities that host us, from Prineville, Oregon, and Los Lunas, New Mexico, to Henrico, Virginia and Luleå, Sweden ”, explained the company it's a statement.
Facebook said that when you sign a renewable electricity contract, it strives to ensure that your purchases actually add additional capacity to the system, and not just replace or rename clean energy investments that would have been made anyway. “We want to know that the new renewable energy project is added to the same electrical grid that serves us, to be sure that new clean energy is actually being added and displaced to fossil fuels,” says Bobby Hollis, director of global energy. That effort is made easier, he said, because Facebook's power consumption is growing rapidly.
Facebook has already met one of its goals for this year: to maintain 50% of its facilities with renewable energy. In fact, the company already achieved its purpose last year, when it reached 51%.
Other large companies are betting on renewables, such as Samsung, which in June promised that its operations in the United States, Europe and China would run on 100% renewable energy from 2020. And Apple and Google have bought enough renewable energy as to offset your energy consumption since April.
Attempts by technology companies to develop new sources of energy revenue are still in an embryonic stage. Google made the biggest strides: In 2014 it paid $ 3.2 billion for Nest, the thermostat company, which claims to have saved its customers 23 million MWh of electricity since 2011. Facebook, led by Mark Zuckerberg, is less ambitious: In 2012, launched an energy saving application in collaboration with Opower, a company that later bought the technology Oracle. But as more people and businesses invest in distributed energy technologies, including solar panels, batteries, and demand management tools, the potential for innovative services grows.
Even if individual companies become "100% renewable," power grids that are powered entirely by solar, wind or hydropower are still a long way off for most countries, according to clean energy experts.
With information from: