Google on Thursday announced its biggest corporate social responsibility initiative till date. It is going to invest $2 billion (15,93,91,0000 pounds) in installing renewable energy infrastructure across the US, Europe and South America.
The company plans to create 1,600 megawatts of electricity using wind and solar energy. The company has signed a record 18 energy deals at one go, which will cumulatively create 5,500-megawatt electricity.
"The agreements announced today will bring additional large-scale solar and wind farms—representing more than $2 billion in new energy infrastructure—to electric grids worldwide. Beyond our own operations, we're working to make clean energy mainstream, and break down the barriers for those who want to purchase renewable energy," Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced in a press release on the company's blog.
The company is working on setting up solar farms in North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas, while it will be investing in a hybrid combination of solar and wind energy in Chile. Plans for Europe will be announced in Pichai's upcoming Finland visit.
The endeavour will also create jobs and drive more than $7 billion in new construction. Google has set up a special "additionality" criteria to make the projects sustainable. It is going to incrementally invest every year in renewable energy and not buy power from these plants but instead, make long-term commitments to set up more such projects.
It will also use tech such as AI and Google Earth to make calculating feasibility of projects easier.
Tech companies such as Google and Amazon have been repeatedly called out for generating a huge carbon footprint from their data centres. Earlier this week, 1,600 Google employees signed a letter laying out a list of climate tech goals for tech companies.
On Friday, employees of tech companies such as Google, Microsoft and Amazon are going to participate in the Global Climate Strike, across 150 countries with demands for tech companies to end contracts with fossil fuel companies.