With a focus on carbon neutrality, Google will become carbon neutral in 2007 and by matching all of its electricity consumption to clean energy from 2017 onwards. Devices like Nest speakers and monitors use recycled plastic in their manufacturing, and we continue to see Google working to improve in this area. At Google I / O 2021, the company announced more initiatives towards cleaner energy, aiming to operate on carbon – free energy by 2030.
One way Google strives to achieve a carbon-free effort is through the use of carbon-intensive computing. The brand uses certain server centers for certain tasks depending on the availability of carbon-free energy sources. This means that its data centers can take advantage of moments and instances where carbon-free energy sources are more readily available for mobile tasks so that it can make more use of existing clean energy. Google says it’s starting to start applying this to media processing – YouTube, Photos, Drive, etc. All of this is happening in the background, so users can still use their apps as usual.
Another way Google is working to achieve a carbon-free initiative is to harness geothermal energy. The exploration company announced a geothermal project to add carbon-free energy to the power grid that will serve its data center in Nevada, which includes the newer Las Vegas Cloud area. It aims to take advantage of “next generation geothermal” and its properties blog notes that “using advanced drilling, fiber optic identification and analysis technologies, next-generation geothermal energy can open up a whole new class of resources.”
Google partnered with clean energy startup Fervo to improve next-generation geothermal production, which makes this form of clean energy more efficient because geothermal energy production has traditionally been somewhat constrained by cost and location issues in production. Google’s partnership with Fervo helps because Fervo can place fiber optic cables inside the wells to gather real-time data and find out how to get the best possible resources. Combine this with machine learning and artificial intelligence (which Google specializes in), and this can potentially work wonders in geothermal energy production.