September 20, 2013
Google Green is vertical of Google endeavoring to produce energy solutions. Google has to date invested in big solar, wind, green technology, energy efficiency, smart grid and now more wind. The development trajectory is the Google way so “Google’s wind power bluff” is another sandbox to play.
The Daily Caller revealed “Google has announced it is purchasing the entire energy output of a 240 megawatt Texas wind farm as part of the company’s quest to power its operations with 100 percent renewable energy. None of that wind power will actually be used by Google because wind energy is not reliable enough to power their servers, reports Forbes.”
Wind is an intermittent power source. Wind energy is an offset for a company such as, Google that uses extensive power for its servers. The value in energy is determining its magnitude on their ecosystem and the potential demand; therefore, engaging in an energy mix is good business.
“Due to the current structure of the market, we can’t consume the renewable energy produced by the wind farm directly, but the impact on our overall carbon footprint and the amount of renewable energy on the grid is the same as if we could consume it,” according to Google. “After purchasing the renewable energy, we’ll retire the renewable energy credits (RECs) and sell the energy itself to the wholesale market. We’ll apply any additional RECs produced under this agreement to reduce our carbon footprint elsewhere.”
“Google’s server farm is powered by whatever the mix is on the local grid: some coal, some gas, a bit of wind powered no doubt, possibly some nuclear,” writes Worstall. “And the reason that Google has to sell the renewable power to the grid and then buy back the standard mix is because wind power is hugely variable. Google’s purchasing of renewable energy credits to offset their carbon footprint is similar to what Apple does — a move which has both companies being hailed as leaders in environmental responsibility.”
Google will need to contend with their carbon footprint and weigh its greenhouse gas emissions as it manages it energy load. The value in Google’s energy scenario is identifying what factors can be in its algorithmic web of services.
The opportunity is to be predictive which places risk but the biggest value when the mix is right.