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Innovating for a cleaner energy future

Energy ministers from around the globe visited the Bay Area this week for their first meeting following the signing of historic climate change agreements in France last year. The Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) is an annual meeting of energy ministers and other high-level delegates from 23 of the world’s largest economies and the EU to discuss collaboration on low-carbon economy solutions. The focus of this year’s CEM was to discuss how to achieve the goals set in the Paris climate change deal as well as learn how innovations coming out of Silicon Valley are tackling the issue head on.

Hosted by U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, a number of ministers embarked on a fact finding mission that included Google, where they came to learn first hand about our commitment to clean energy and sustainability.

Google’s Senior Vice President for Technical Infrastructure Urs Hölzle told the group that renewable energy is critical for businesses like ours — from powering our data centers to our products and services. “Having pioneered some of the first corporate renewable power purchasing back in 2010-2011, we’re excited to see that this is becoming business-as-usual for companies everywhere. And at Google we continue to be committed to 100% renewable energy because this makes good business sense and is the right thing to do for the planet and for our users.”

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz who led the visit to Google was joined by ministers and officials from countries including the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Chile, India, Indonesia, and South Africa.
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U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. who led the visit to Google, was joined by ministers and officials from countries like the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Chile, India, Indonesia, and South Africa.

The CEM group had the opportunity to see at first hand a number of projects aimed at everything from helping people make smart choices about solar power to how we power our data centers with renewable energy.

At Google, we’ve made a long-term commitment to power 100% of our operations with renewable energy. To that end, we’ve purchased more than 2 gigawatts of renewable energy to date, making us the world’s largest non-utility purchaser of renewables.

In an effort to build on this week’s momentum, the CEM launched a campaign that will promote solutions that enable more companies to purchase renewable power. Google is pleased to join this effort by agreeing to host a forum later this year for national governments, renewable energy buyers and suppliers, NGOs, and other interested groups to look for ways to further unlock corporate renewable energy demand in CEM countries.