Before Google can rely completely on carbon-free energy, it will need to overcome some technological hurdles. It will need more and better batteries to store and supply energy when the sun doesn’t shine and winds come to a halt. It also says it’s figuring out how to use AI to forecast the company’s electricity demand and become more energy efficient. In the US, the country’s aging energy grid needs to be updated to better accommodate renewable energy, too. Companies like Google are often limited to relying on the available power mix — which typically includes fossil fuels — wherever they’re operating. So Google may need to think about working in places with healthy renewable energy markets and favorable energy policies.
*Google’s new commitment applies to the company’s electricity usage; the company will continue to offset emissions for things like employees’ travel.
Google has a big data center in Pryor, OK, and 36% of Oklahoma’s electricity generation now comes from wind. The state is blessed with both massive hydrocarbon reserves and huge wind capacity (just like the song says).