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Google to Continue Its Investment in Renewable Energy Production

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Apr. 20 2018, Updated 6:05 p.m. ET

Google exceeded its 2017 renewable energy purchase target

Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google achieved its 2017 goal to purchase enough renewable energy to match its global electricity consumption. The company says it exceeded that target, but it isn’t stopping there. Google plans to keep investing in renewable energy to offset its electricity supply from nonrenewable sources. 

As Google expands its operations with new data centers and offices opening in various parts of the world, its electricity consumption is also increasing. Google currently trails Amazon (AMZN), Microsoft (MSFT), and IBM (IBM) in the cloud computing market. However, Google is building more data centers to expand its cloud computing capacity.

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Renewable energy purchases

As a result of these renewable energy contracts, Google’s global capital investment has increased more than $3.0 billion. Alphabet made $4.3 billion in capital investments in 4Q17, compared to $3.1 billion per year in 4Q16. The chart above shows Alphabet’s capital expenditures since 4Q16.

Curbing rise of global temperatures

In addition to Google, Apple, Microsoft (MSFT), Amazon (AMZN), Facebook (FB), and Walmart (WMT) are also making significant investments in renewable energy. These companies intend to invest in renewable energy to curb the rise of global temperatures by cutting the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.

There are also economic benefits that arise from investing in renewable energy. Since renewable energy costs are more predictable, shifting to renewable electricity could help a company control its costs more effectively. For now, most of the renewable energy contracts don’t directly power the operations of the companies paying for power.

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