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Google green energy buys boost ‘carbon-free’ portfolio

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SAN FRANCISCO: Google on Thursday (Sep 19) announced a record-high boost to its green electricity purchases, saying the deals will spur construction of millions of solar panels and hundreds of wind turbines.

The US-based Internet giant increased its wind and solar energy portfolio by more than 40 per cent with deals for 1,600 megawatts of electricity.

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"Once all these projects come online, our carbon-free energy portfolio will produce more electricity than places like Washington, DC or entire countries like Lithuania or Uruguay use each year," Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said in a blog post.

Pichai touted the combined new deals and agreements as the biggest corporate purchase of renewable energy in history.

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Google's worldwide portfolio of wind- and solar-generated electricity agreements total 5,500 megawatts, which was described as the capacity of a million solar rooftops.

In 2017, Google became the first company of its size to offset its entire annual electricity consumption with renewable energy, and repeated the feat the following year, according to Pichai.

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"As a result, we became the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in the world," he said.

As Internet services and computing hosted in the cloud are increasingly woven into users' lifestyles, demand for power climbs at data centres handling the computing.

Google's latest green energy deals include investments in Chile, Europe and the US.

READ: Earth to warm more quickly, new climate models show