Google mum on energy storage - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Industrial, Sourcing Renewables  -  October 13, 2016

Google talks renewables, not storage, at SXSW Eco

Google talked up its broad initiatives aimed at cutting carbon emissions through energy efficiency and renewable energy sourcing in Texas this week, but was reportedly quiet on the topic of energy storage. 

Speaking Oct. 10 at the SXSW Eco conference in Austin, Texas, Google's sustainability officer Kate Brandt outlined the company's strategy, including how it is using technology to advance its efforts. In her keynote speech at the conference, which is a breakout conference of its more famous parent, the interactive music and film festival SXSW, Brandt reportedly said Google has signed 2.5 GW worth of renewable energy worldwide, making it the largest corporate buyer of clean energy. 

The company has ramped up its goals around renewable energy in recent months as part of its goal of powering 100% of its operations, including its energy-intensive data centers, with renewable energy. 

The Guardian reported Oct. 12 that Brandt — who before joining Google worked in the White House as the country's first chief sustainability officer  — touched on a number of the company's latest environmental projects, including those involving collecting and analyzing data in a way that allows the company, as well as other businesses, to map the best path to achieving sustainability initiative such as sourcing healthier materials or reducing energy use.  

"When we think about the Third Industrial Revolution and the role Google played in it, we also think about the Fourth Industrial Revolution where this digital backbone could transform our relationship to the material world. We would like to be a player," The Guardian quoted Brandt as saying during her keynote.

The author of the Guardian piece, Ucilia Wang, is an U.S. assistant editor of editorial partnerships, and wrote that Brandt "wouldn't tell me whether the company plans to put money into energy storage, which is seen as a complementary, if not must-have, technology for renewable energy in overtaking fossil fuels." 

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