Redmond, WA, United States
Redmond, WA, United States

Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, that develops, manufactures, licenses, supports and sells computer software, consumer electronics and personal computers and services. Its best known software products are the Microsoft Windows line of operating systems, Microsoft Office office suite, and Internet Explorer web browser. Its flagship hardware products are the Xbox game consoles and the Microsoft Surface tablet lineup. It is the world's largest software maker measured by revenues. It is also one of the world's most valuable companies.Microsoft was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen on April 4, 1975, to develop and sell BASIC interpreters for Altair 8800. It rose to dominate the personal computer operating system market with MS-DOS in the mid-1980s, followed by Microsoft Windows. The company's 1986 initial public offering, and subsequent rise in its share price, created three billionaires and an estimated 12,000 millionaires from Microsoft employees. Since the 1990s, it has increasingly diversified from the operating system market and has made a number of corporate acquisitions. In May 2011, Microsoft acquired Skype Technologies for $8.5 billion in its largest acquisition to date.As of 2013, Microsoft is market dominant in both the IBM PC-compatible operating system and office software suite markets . The company also produces a wide range of other software for desktops and servers, and is active in areas including Internet search , the video game industry , the digital services market , and mobile phones . In June 2012, Microsoft entered the personal computer production market for the first time, with the launch of the Microsoft Surface, a line of tablet computers.With the acquisition of Nokia's devices and services division to form Microsoft Mobile Oy, the company re-entered the smartphone hardware market, after its previous attempt, Microsoft Kin, which resulted from their acquisition of Danger Inc. Wikipedia.

SEARCH TERMS
SEARCH FILTERS
Time filter
Source Type

News Article | June 30, 2017
Site: www.greentechmedia.com

We're entering a new era in corporate renewable energy purchasing. The space has grown exponentially and diversified significantly since Google and Apple made their first renewable energy procurements in 2012. Where and how corporations are purchasing renewables is also evolving, according to Hervé Touati, managing director of the Rocky Mountain Institute. Here are the major takeaways from his talk this week at GTM's Grid Edge World Forum. RMI tracked 1.24 gigawatts of corporate renewable energy procurements from the beginning of January through June 15 of this year. Procurements spiked in 2015, when the industry predicted that Congress would not extend the Production Tax Credit for wind and the Investment Tax Credit for solar. Since then, corporate renewable energy demand has returned to more incremental growth. Demand remains strong, however, with 2017 on track out outpace 2016. "You can see it's a growing trend," said Touati. The increase in renewable energy deals comes as an increasing number of companies make bold clean energy commitments. Today, more than 95 companies have pledged to go 100 percent renewable as part of the RE100 campaign. Several of those companies, including Google, Microsoft and Lego, and have already hit their targets. But while sustainability goals have become more widespread, Touati noted that these commitments -- and, more strikingly, renewable energy procurements -- are still concentrated among the world's largest companies. Diversification is a growing trend, though. One trigger is that large companies are starting to demand sustainability measures be met across their supply chain. In 2015, Apple launched a 2-gigawatt clean energy initiative in China, in order to tackle its supply chain emissions. As part of that initiative, iPhone manufacturer Foxconn will construct 400 megawatts of solar by 2018. Walmart has also launched a major supply chain initiative -- dubbed the corporate America's "moonshot" -- that seeks to remove 1 gigaton, or 1 billion tons, of greenhouse gas emissions from its supply chain by 2030. Energy is one of six areas where suppliers can make improvements. "When the first five to 10 companies turn back and look at their supply chain, that could open up significant new opportunities [for renewables]," said Touati. New rate structures are also helping to expand and diversify the corporate clean energy market. Momentum created by the "We Are Still In" movement in response to the Trump administration's withdrawal from the Paris Agreement is helping to get new corporate players engaged as well, Touati said. The group currently includes some 2,086 governors, mayors, businesses, investors, and colleges and universities, three-quarters of which are businesses and investors. Another emerging trend in corporate renewable energy procurements is the “winner’s curse,” as Touati calls it. This is where the price and the value of a renewable energy project do not match, and the customer’s asset does not deliver the expected return on investment. If not addressed, this issue could put a chill on the corporate renewables space. The issue is particularly pronounced in the Southwest Power Pool, evidenced in the map below showing wind-weighted electricity prices. In the red areas, wind energy production gets more than $20 megawatt-hour, while in the blue areas production gets just $5 per megawatt hour. “That’s really cheap for electricity,” said Touati. A lot of wind developers put projects in the blue areas because the land is cheap, the projects are easy to permit, and the wind resource is strong. But that does not necessarily mean it’s a good deal for the customer. Corporates often contract for renewables at a fixed price and receive credit for the renewable energy that project produces, while the actual electrons that project generates are sold into a wholesale market -- a model known a virtual PPA. The expectation is that the wholesale market prices will be higher than the PPA price, or that they will increase over time, and the corporate buyer will save money on the whole. But those savings aren’t always there, as experts have explained. "As a corporate buyer, you need to start to look at your renewable energy procurement the same way you look at real estate procurement: It's all about location,” Touati said. “What you should care about is not the cost of production; it's the difference between the value of electricity being produced and the cost of production,” he added. "If you produce at $50 and the [market] value is $60, you have a better deal than producing at $25 and the value [being] at $20.” RMI recently released a market platform that helps commercial customers identify opportune areas to negotiate renewable energy deals, including node-level price data and a future analysis of transmission congestion. The platform is available to members of RMI’s Business Renewables Center. RMI also formally incorporated the nonprofit WattTime as a subsidiary organization this week, with the aim of helping more corporate customers reduce their carbon footprint cost-effectively. WattTime’s software "can automatically detect the actual emissions impacts when people and companies use energy -- both in real time and ahead of time -- so any device connected to the internet can use power at times when our electricity is the cleanest,” according to a press release. WattTime “measures precisely the carbon content of every megawatt-hour produced. If you are more interested in actually having an impact on reducing CO2 emissions, this tool can also tell you where to invest in wind and solar,” said Touati. Despite the possible risks and challenges, Touati believes corporate renewable energy procurement is on track for more exponential growth. "I believe the future will be a flood in the making," he said. A big part of that has to do with how deals get done. The vast majority of megawatts contracted for to date were signed through virtual power agreements, and those structures can only be signed in organized markets, according to Touati. But new deal options are now emerging as the market for corporate renewables matures. Whether it's a green tariff, direct access, a green pricing program, a retail sleeve or some other structure, at least one kind of deal is currently available somewhere in the country. But vertically integrated markets are still difficult to work in. The chart above shows that it's almost three times harder to get a deal done with a vertically integrated utility territory. "I believe this is going to change for a number of reasons," said Touati. First, some customers are getting impatient, such as MGM in Nevada. The casino and hotel company wasn't satisfied with its utility, NV Energy , and so it struck a deal to pay a fee and opt out of the utility territory. Microsoft is exploring a similar structure, Touati said. "That's pretty radical; it is certainly changing the market in regulated states," he said. Second, in order to have a green tariff with a utility, you take the typical electricity cost, add the cost of wind and solar, and subtract the utility's avoided cost. In the past, that meant that corporations could do a renewable energy deal, but they had to pay a premium for it. Now, with solar and wind costs getting lower and lower, that differential is going away. Touati asked: Who would prefer to pay more for dirty power when they could pay less for clean power? "That's were the flood is going to come from," he said.


This document relates to management of computing devices using modulated electricity. One example includes assigning a set of time slices to a computing device for drawing electricity and subsequently causing the computing device to adjust consumption of the electricity by assigning a different set of time slices to the computing device. Another example involves modulating different alternating current frequencies for different types of electricity, e.g. 50 Hz for green or renewably-sourced power and 60 Hz for brown or fossil fuel sourced power.

Claims which contain your search:

11. The system of claim 10, wherein the electrical hardware is configured to convert the electrical energy from alternating current to direct current to charge the energy storage device.

10. The system of claim 9, further comprising an energy storage device, wherein the electrical hardware is configured to power the computing device by charging the energy storage device during the assigned time periods.

3. The system of claim 2, further comprising a processor configured to cap energy usage of the first alternating current frequency differently than the second alternating current frequency.

5. The system of claim 2, wherein the modulated electricity comprises green power that is produced by a renewable energy source and modulated at the first alternating current frequency and brown power that is produced by a fossil fuel energy source and modulated at the second alternating current frequency.


SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--EDF Renewable Energy has signed an agreement to supply Kimberly-Clark Corporation (NYSE: KMB) with 120 megawatts (MW) of wind energy from the Rock Falls Wind Project in Oklahoma (total capacity 154 MW). The Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (VPPA) is Kimberly-Clark’s first use of utility-scale renewable energy and will help Kimberly-Clark to surpass its 2022 commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% four years ahead of schedule. Rock Falls Wind Project, located in Kay and Grant Counties in northern Oklahoma, consists of Siemens wind turbines manufactured in their Iowa-based facilities. The project has created more than 150 jobs since start of construction in July 2017 along with millions of dollars injected into the local economy. Upon commencement of commercial operation, anticipated in December 2017, the renewable energy will provide Kimberly-Clark with power equivalent to a significant portion of the electricity needs of its North American manufacturing operations. Dai Owen, Director, Power Marketing for EDF RE commented, “The strong U.S. wind market relies in part on America’s corporate sector and companies like Kimberly-Clark, who through the purchase of wind energy demonstrate leadership in the drive for a low-carbon economy. Their commitment allowed Rock Falls to proceed, providing an economic boost to the Oklahoma economy, through new construction and operations jobs, expanded tax base, and recurring, long-term income for participating landowners.” “We are proud to partner with EDF Renewable Energy on this project, which will accelerate our efforts to reduce climate change impacts, improve energy efficiency and lower operating costs,” said Lisa Morden, Global Head of Sustainability at Kimberly-Clark. “This agreement will help enable Kimberly-Clark to achieve its greenhouse gas emission reduction goal up to four years ahead of schedule and is a further step in preparing the company for a low-carbon future. It also supports Kimberly-Clark’s mission to provide people with essentials for a better life by caring for the environment and communities we serve.” Rock Falls marks EDF RE’s second project in Oklahoma. In 2016, the Company completed the Great Western Wind Project which supplies Google with its output of electricity. EDF RE is a leading developer among corporate buyers of renewables which demonstrates the trust that sustainability-conscious companies place in EDF RE to deliver value. Kimberly-Clark joins the Company’s growing North America portfolio of corporate purchasers including Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, Procter & Gamble, Walmart and Yahoo. EDF  Renewable Energy is a leading US independent power producer with over 30 years of expertise in the renewable industry, covering all range of services from project origination, development, sales and marketing, to long-term asset management. EDF  Renewable Energy specializes in wind and solar photovoltaic with presence in other segments of the renewable energy market: distributed electricity, storage, biogas, and biomass. EDF Renewable Energy ’s North American portfolio consists of 9 gigawatts of developed projects with 4.4 gigawatts of installed capacity throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. The operations and maintenance subsidiary, EDF Renewable Services, operates 10 gigawatts throughout North America. EDF Renewable Energy is a subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles. EDF Energies Nouvelles is the renewable energy arm of the EDF group, the leading electricity company in the world. For more information visit: www.edf-re.com.


News Article | March 30, 2016
Site: cleantechnica.com

Independent US power producer EDF Renewable Energy , a subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles, revealed it led the US in terms of new wind energy capacity additions in 2015. EDF Renewable Energy announced earlier this month that it lead the way in the US wind energy market for the development of new wind energy capacity additions in 2015 — developing 1,055.4 MW across five states, leaving them with a 12% market share. “2015 was a record year for us,” said Tristan Grimbert, CEO and President of EDF Renewable Energy . “We are extremely proud to achieve 12% of the market share thanks in part to the acquisition of Own Energy . It could not be done without the commitment of our team members, landowners and communities. We thank each of them for making EDF RE a great success this year.” In addition to eight new wind power projects across some of the top states in the US for wind power production, EDF Renewable Energy is also leading the way when it comes to commercial and industrial installations, with another five deals made with Fortune 500 companies totaling 543 MW. Some of the companies EDF Renewable Energy has partnered with include names like Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google. “Corporate America is increasingly turning to renewable energy to power its business operations, based both on consumer preferences and because renewable energy simply makes economic sense,” said Ryan Pfaff, Executive Vice President of Development, EDF Renewable Energy . “We are honored to have partnered with 18% of the corporations that signed renewable power purchase agreements over the past 3 years.” EDF Renewable Services, the company’s operations and maintenance (O&M) group, has 10.7 GW of wind, solar, bioenergy, and storage under contract in 26 US states and provinces. “Our customers have come to rely on our deep technical expertise with a variety of turbine types, coupled with our strong focus on safety,” added Larry Barr, Executive Vice President of Operations and Maintenance, EDF Renewable Services. “2015 was a good year for us, and with an emphasis on value-added services such as asset management and blade inspections and repairs.”    Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.”   Come attend CleanTechnica’s 1st “Cleantech Revolution Tour” event → in Berlin, Germany, April 9–10.   Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.  


News Article | February 22, 2017
Site: www.greentechmedia.com

Kevin de León has promised to lead the resistance to President Trump. A new bill could make good on that promise. The California Senate leader has introduced legislation that would require the Golden State to get 100 percent of its electricity from climate-friendly energy sources by 2045. That's a big step up from the state's current renewable energy mandate, 50 percent by 2030 -- a target that's only been on the books for a year and a half, and that California is still a long way from meeting. Under Gov. Jerry Brown, California has become a world leader in efforts to limit global warming, which is caused primarily by the burning of fossil fuels. De León's 100 percent clean energy proposal would up the ante considerably -- and fly in the face of Donald Trump's agenda. The president has repeatedly called human-caused global warming a "hoax," despite overwhelming scientific evidence that it's real and dangerous, and has pledged to boost America's production of climate-polluting coal, oil and natural gas, which he says will create millions of high-paying jobs. WAMC: Bill Would Require Massachusetts to Use 100% Renewable Energy Environmental activists launched a campaign Monday to win passage of a bill in Massachusetts that would commit the state to 100 percent renewable energy over the next few decades. Three Massachusetts legislators have filed a bill that would require that all electricity used in the state be generated from renewable sources such as solar and wind by 2035, and fossil fuels be eliminated as power sources for heat, transportation, and anything else by 2050. The bill, dubbed the 100 percent Renewable Energy Act, was filed by Democratic lawmakers Rep. Sean Garballey, Rep. Marjorie Decker and Sen. Jamie Eldridge. During a conference call with reporters Monday, Ben Hellerstein, state director for Environment Massachusetts, announced there are now 53 co-sponsors. Auto Blog: The Race for Autonomous Cars Is Over. Silicon Valley Lost Up until very recently, the talk in Silicon Valley was about how the tech industry was going to broom Detroit into the dustbin of history. Companies such as Apple, Google and Uber -- so the thinking went -- were going to out run, out gun, and out innovate the automakers. Today that talk is starting to fade. There's a dawning realization that maybe there's a good reason why the traditional car companies have been around for more than a century. Last year Apple laid off most of the engineers it hired to design its own car. Google (now Waymo) stopped talking about making its own car. And Uber, despite its sky-high market valuation, is still a long, long way from ever making any money, much less making its own autonomous cars. To paraphrase Elon Musk, Silicon Valley is learning that "making rockets is hard, but making cars is really hard." People outside of the auto industry tend to have a shallow understanding of how complex the business really is. They think all you have to do is design a car and start making it. But most startups never make it past the concept-car stage because the move to mass production proves too daunting. Even Tesla, the only successful automotive company to come out of Silicon Valley so far, made but 80,000 cars last year, and it's been in business for nearly 15 years. Washington Post: ‘We Don’t Have to Choose’ Between Jobs and the Environment, Says Pruitt In his first full work day as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt made clear Tuesday that he intends to step back from what he sees as the agency’s regulatory overreach during the Obama administration. Pruitt, who spent years criticizing and suing the EPA before becoming its newest leader, reiterated an argument he often had made as Oklahoma attorney general. “The only authority that any agency has in the executive branch is the authority given to it by Congress,” he said during a noon address to employees at the agency headquarters. “We need to respect that. We need to follow that. Because when we do that, guess what happens? We avoid litigation. We avoid the uncertainty of litigation, and we reach better ends and outcomes at the end of the day.” When Sean James, who works on data-center technology for Microsoft, suggested that the company put server farms entirely underwater, his colleagues were a bit dubious. But for James, who had earlier served on board a submarine for the U.S. Navy, submerging whole data centers beneath the waves made perfect sense. This tactic, he argued, would not only limit the cost of cooling the machines -- an enormous expense for many data-center operators -- but it could also reduce construction costs, make it easier to power these facilities with renewable energy, and even improve their performance. Together with Todd Rawlings, another Microsoft engineer, James circulated an internal white paper promoting the concept. It explained how building data centers underwater could help Microsoft and other cloud providers manage today’s phenomenal growth in an environmentally sustainable way.


Patent
Microsoft | Date: 2013-06-13

A data center is cooled through hydronic convection mechanisms, geothermal mechanisms or combinations thereof. The individual computing devices of such a data center are cooled through a thermally conductive interface with a liquid. The liquids container can extend to a cooling apparatus located physically above such computing devices to provide hydronic convection cooling, or it can extend into the earth, either in the form of a heat pipe, or in the form of conduits through which the liquid is actively pumped. The hydronic convection cooling and geothermal heat pipe cooling operate via temperature differentials and consume no external electrical power. Geothermal cooling avoids heat soak by utilizing multiple different sets of conduits extending into the earth, where at least some of those sets of conduits are not utilized for a period of time. Combinations of hydronic convection mechanisms and geothermal cooling can also be utilized.

Claims which contain your search:

1. A system for simultaneously cooling multiple computing devices, the system comprising: a heat pipe extending below ground into the earth, the heat pipe comprising a liquid that evaporates to absorb thermal energy and then condenses to release the thermal energy, the release of the thermal energy of the heat pipe being into the earth below ground; a surface that is thermally coupled to the heat pipe such that thermal energy is passed through the surface into the heat pipe, thereby causing the liquid in the heat pipe to evaporate, the surface comprising at least one of a cold floor or a cold wall; and a thermal coupling between the multiple computing devices and the surface, the multiple computing devices being arranged so as to facilitate the thermal coupling between them and the surface.

19. The system of claim 14, wherein the cooling apparatus comprises a heat pipe extending below ground into the earth, the heat pipe comprising a liquid that evaporates to absorb thermal energy and then condenses to release the thermal energy, the release of the thermal energy of the heat pipe being into the earth below ground.

6. The system of claim 1, wherein the release of the thermal energy of the heat pipe is insufficient to cause heat soak in the earth.

9. A system for simultaneously cooling multiple computing devices, the system comprising: a multi-zone piping system comprising: a first distinct portion extending below ground into a first portion of the earth; a first valve controlling the flow of heated liquid into the first distinct portion of the multi-zone piping system; a second distinct portion extending below ground into a second portion of the earth that is different and separate from the first portion; and a second valve controlling the flow of the heated liquid into the second distinct portion of the multi-zone piping system; wherein the first and second valves alternate which of the first distinct portion of the multi-zone piping system and the second distinct portion of the multi-zone piping system have the heated liquid flowing through them so as to avoid head soak of the first portion and the second portion of the earth; a surface that is thermally coupled to the multi-zone piping system such that thermal energy is passed through the surface into the multi-zone piping system, the surface comprising at least one of a cold floor or a cold wall; and a thermal coupling between the multiple computing devices and the surface, the multiple computing devices being arranged so as to facilitate the thermal coupling between them and the surface.


Patent
Microsoft | Date: 2016-12-21

A data center is cooled through hydronic convection mechanisms, geothermal mechanisms or combinations thereof. The individual computing devices of such a data center are cooled through a thermally conductive interface with a liquid. The liquids container can extend to a cooling apparatus located physically above such computing devices to provide hydronic convection cooling, or it can extend into the earth, either in the form of a heat pipe, or in the form of conduits through which the liquid is actively pumped. The hydronic convection cooling and geothermal heat pipe cooling operate via temperature differentials and consume no external electrical power. Geothermal cooling avoids heat soak by utilizing multiple different sets of conduits extending into the earth, where at least some of those sets of conduits are not utilized for a period of time. Combinations of hydronic convection mechanisms and geothermal cooling can also be utilized.

Claims which contain your search:

1. A system (500) for simultaneously cooling multiple computing devices (411-414, 451-466; 530), the system comprising:a multi-zone piping system (510) comprising:a first distinct portion (551) extending below ground into a first portion (521) of the earth (520);a first valve (541) controlling the flow of heated liquid into the first distinct portion of the multi-zone piping system;a second distinct portion (552) extending below ground into a second portion (522) of the earth that is different and separate from the first portion; anda second valve (542) controlling the flow of the heated liquid into the second distinct portion of the multi-zone piping system;wherein the first and second valves alternate which of the first distinct portion of the multi-zone piping system and the second distinct portion of the multi-zone piping system have the heated liquid flowing through them so as to avoid heat soak of the first portion and the second portion of the earth;a surface that is thermally coupled to the multi-zone piping system such that thermal energy is passed through the surface into the multi-zone piping system, the surface comprising at least one of a cold floor (430) or a cold wall (470); anda thermal coupling (421-424) between the multiple computing devices and the surface, the multiple computing devices being arranged so as to facilitate the thermal coupling between them and the surface.


A method described herein includes an act of receiving data that is indicative of predicted weather conditions for a particular geographic region, wherein the particular geographic region has an energy generation system therein, and wherein the energy generation system utilizes at least one renewable energy resource to generate electrical power. The method also includes the act of scheduling a computational workload for at least one computer in a data center based at least in part upon the data that is indicative of the predicted weather conditions for the particular geographic region.

Claims which contain your search:

19. A system comprising: a power system that generates electrical power based upon a renewable resource; a data center that comprises a plurality of computing devices, wherein the power system provides the data center with electrical energy; at least one computing device that is configured to:generate a prediction as to an amount of electrical power that is to be output by the power system at a point in time in the future, the point in time in the future being between four and eight hours into the future; andschedule a computational workload for at least one computing device in the data center based upon the prediction as to the amount of electrical power that is to be output by the power system at the point in time in the future.

1. A method executed by a computing system, the method comprising: predicting an amount of electrical power that is to be generated by a power system at a point in time between four hours and eight hours in the future, the power system generates electrical power based upon a renewable resource, the power system provides electrical power to a data center; and scheduling a computational workload for at least one computing device in the data center based upon the predicted amount of electrical power that is to be generated by the power system at the point in time in the future.

11. A computing system comprising: at least one processor; and memory storing instructions that, when executed by the at least one processor, cause the at least one processor to perform acts comprising:predicting a weather condition at a geographic location at a point in time that is between four hours and eight hours in the future;predicting an amount of electrical power that is to be generated by a power system at the point in time in the future, the amount of electrical power predicted based upon the weather condition, the power system configured to generate electrical power through use of a renewable resource, the power system configured to supply electrical power to at least one computing device in a data center; andscheduling a computational workload for the at least one computing device in the data center based upon the amount of electrical power that is to be generated by the power system at the point in time in the future.


News Article | December 6, 2016
Site: www.greentechmedia.com

A lot of leading companies have committed to getting all of their energy from renewable sources. Google has dispensed with its aspirational phase and will actually achieve this milestone in 2017, the company revealed Tuesday. "Over the calendar year globally, for every unit of energy we consume, we’re purchasing the equivalent amount or more of renewable energy" in 2017, said Neha Palmer, head of energy strategy at Google's global infrastructure division. The search engine and web services provider has long been a leader in corporate renewables, using its clout and purchasing power to open up new avenues for procuring clean energy. The future of federal renewables policy remains hazy since the election of Donald Trump, meaning corporate leadership could play an even greater role in the adoption of wind and solar power in the next few years. The announcement means that all of Google's data centers, offices and operations will be powered by clean energy. Not all of that clean electricity is available in the vicinity of the facilities, so in those cases, the company buys the equivalent power and retires the associated renewable energy credits. It's hard to say this milestone has been reached ahead of schedule, because the goal was not pegged to a specific date. With that said, Google's announcement comes ahead of most of the 83 companies in the RE 100 group that have announced a 100 percent renewable goal. Elsewhere in Silicon Valley, Apple got to 93 percent in 2015 but evidently hasn't closed the gap. Adobe is aiming for 2035. Facebook has targeted half of its data center energy use by 2018, with full company-wide renewables "eventually." Of the big tech players, Microsoft took the gold medal, meeting its carbon neutral commitment back in 2014. The gap between the goal and the achievement does not close easily. Google first procured wind energy in 2010, and established the goal in 2012. The company reached 37 percent renewable in 2014 and 44 percent in 2015. A number of deals that closed about a year ago are now bearing fruit, Palmer said, leading to 900 megawatts coming on-line in the next four to six weeks. That will help close the distance to 100 percent. Accomplishing the 100 percent goal followed not just renewables procurement, but extensive demand-side work to reduce the load Google has to serve. In doing so, the company followed the corporate sustainability steps laid out by Hervé Touati, the managing director of the Rocky Mountain Institute, in a recent episode of GTM's podcast the Interchange. "It's clear for most, if not all, businesses that the first thing to do is energy efficiency, because that is the most cost-effective way of going toward executing on your targets," he said. For Google, that meant serious work at the data centers to cut down on the electricity needed to run all those searches and YouTube clips. Those data centers now deliver 3.5 times as much computing power as they did five years ago, while using the same amount of electricity, the company said. Google's parent company Alphabet also leveraged in-house expertise from DeepMind, its machine-learning subsidiary, to reduce energy needs. By training the computers to optimize operational factors like fans and cooling systems, DeepMind was able to cut the energy use for cooling data centers by 40 percent, yielding a 15 percent drop in overall energy overhead. Efficiency can only get you so far, Touati noted. The same applies to onsite generation -- the data centers need too much power. "[If] you can cover the roof of a data center with solar PV panels, maybe you cover 5 percent of the electricity needs," Touati said. "If you want to reach your...100 percent renewable target, the only option you have today is to actually source electricity from offsite projects." That's what Google did, to the tune of 2.6 gigawatts worldwide. In some locations where renewable purchase options didn't exist, the company worked with the local utilities to create them. That process helped produce Duke Energy's Green Source Rider, which enabled Google to purchase power for its North Carolina data center from a 61-megawatt solar project. Now other companies can buy through that program as well. "We hope we can expand markets even more and work with market structures to enable customers to have choice in their energy supply," Palmer said. "The green rider was one way to do that." Up next for Palmer's team: procuring new generation to keep pace with the company's growing energy needs, and focusing more on finding renewable energy sources in the regions where Google consumes energy. "Trying to navigate all those individual markets can be a challenge sometimes," Palmer said. "You really have to tailor the approach to each individual market. It's our hope that it can become a lot easier."


News Article | December 6, 2016
Site: www.rechargenews.com

Google says it will reach 100% renewable energy for its global operations in 2017, a milestone that will cement its status as the world’s largest corporate buyer of wind and solar power. The California-based internet search giant now has commitments totaling 2.6GW of wind and solar energy, more than double second place Amazon and five times Microsoft and Facebook, in fourth and fifth place, respectively. “To reach this goal, we’ll be directly buying enough wind and solar electricity annually to account for every unit of electricity our operations consume, globally,” Urs Holzle, senior vice president technical infrastructure, said in a blog post. “And we’re focusing on creating new energy from renewable sources, so we only buy from projects that are funded by our purchases.” In 2015, the company consumed 5.7 terawatt hours of electricity across its operations, nearly as much as the City of San Francisco. “Electricity costs are one of the largest components of our operating expenses at our data centres, and having a long-term stable cost of renewable power provides protection against price swings in energy, ” he wrote. Google claims its purchasing commitments will result in infrastructure commitments of more than $3.5bn globally, about two-thirds of that spending in the US. Google has signed 20 power purchase agreements overall including six totaling 842MW in 2015, which it says was the largest “aggregate purchase of renewable energy ever made by a non-utility.”

Loading Microsoft collaborators
Loading Microsoft collaborators