Renewable energy and sustainable efforts are at the forefront of the talks through 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic, following initial shutdowns and social distancing orders, demonstrated that rapid change is possible with the right tools. While the drops of pollution haven’t lasted, the way forward is clear.
Clean energy is a necessity in any form. Now, Google’s data center energy plans show that big tech companies can lead the way.
One of the company’s main goals is to achieve carbon-free energy use by 2030. On the path to this goal, Google recently announced its plans to make its data centers more renewable.
The solution is simple. With the data center in Saint-Ghislain, Belgium, as a first test, Google will now use batteries to power the facility during power outages. Batteries are cleaner alternatives to fossil fuels, such as diesel, and also more efficient. The large tech conglomerate plans to phase out the generators and instead use battery power and storage to keep the facility running.
In Belgium, we’ll soon install the first ever battery-based system for replacing generators at a hyperscale data center. In the event of a power disruption, the system will help keep our users’ searches, e-mails, and videos on the move—without the pollution associated with burning diesel. Google
This switch means that even when more power is necessary or storms knock out electricity, batteries can provide the clean energy the data center needs. The overall environmental harm from Google’s Belgium facility will start to decrease as well.
The change, though, will be gradual. Google plans to keep the diesel generators running alongside the battery grid likely until experts believe the battery setup is strong enough to run on its own. Additionally, this step is one of many that Google needs to take towards becoming more sustainable.
Batteries and Renewables Together
The focus on renewable energy goes hand in hand with other sustainable energy efforts, such as Google’s battery power integration. When the two of you work together, renewable efforts are at their peak.
Google’s battery integration is key because it also helps the surrounding local area with its power grid. Batteries will also be reliable sources of electricity if the nearby community needs them.
This dynamic shows what is possible for energy. New technology, such as smart grid automation for solar power, can also use batteries as backup power. From here, we can see several new startups and ventures from tech companies of all sizes adding to the clean energy efforts.