Sign up today to get the best of our expert insight in your inbox.

For details on how your data is used and stored, see our Privacy Notice.

Google’s demanding goals for decarbonisation

AI is driving up demand for electricity. How can we meet that demand with clean energy?

It has been a big theme on the Energy Gang this year: the massive additional demand for energy that could be created by data centers for artificial intelligence. It’s an emerging issue that threatens to cause new challenges for the world’s attempts to achieve net zero goals.

So it is a great opportunity for us to have on the show a representative from Google, a company that relies heavily on data centers and is at the forefront of the AI revolution. It also has some ambitious decarbonization goals: the aim is to power the company’s operations entirely with clean energy by 2030.

Maud Texier is the global director of clean energy and decarbonisation development at Google. She joins Ed Crooks and Amy Myers-Jaffe to explain how she sees the path to achieving that goal by 2030. Google’s objective of 24/7 clean energy requires sourcing renewable power that aligns with its consumption patterns. That means not just buying enough renewable energy to match its usage over the course of a year: every kilowatt-hour consumed must be carbon-free. It’s a challenging goal that it driving Google, like other companies with similar objectives, to explore new ways to generate power, store energy and manage the grid.

Google is looking at or already investing in a range of innovative energy technologies, including enhanced geothermal, hydrogen, long-duration storage and advanced nuclear. Big energy users such as Google can do a lot to shape the evolution of the energy industry. But policy support is, as ever, crucial to achieving net zero goals. How is Google engaging with policymakers and regulators to help support the deployment of clean energy? New standards in the European parliament, aimed at improving energy efficiency, include mandates for data centers to report their performance. Are we moving towards an era of more stringent regulation of energy use for data centers and other large loads?

Subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts or Spotify so you don’t miss the next one, out every second Tuesday. Join the discussion on X – we’re @theenergygang.