Microsoft to source more renewables for its data centres

Microsoft to source more renewables for its data centres

American tech giant Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has vowed to source more direct renewable energy sources for its worldwide data centres located across Asia, Western Europe and the UK, despite using 100 per cent renewables since 2014.

The company wants to combat the growth and electricity consumption of its data centres by adding more clean sources in hopes of reaching a 60 per cent renewables target “early in the next decade.”

“When it comes to sustainability, we’ve made important progress as a company since the start of this decade, but even more important work lies ahead,” said Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer. “For Microsoft, this means moving beyond data centres that are already 100% carbon neutral to also having those data centres rely on a larger percentage of wind, solar and hydropower electricity over time.”

Smith explained that around 44 per cent of electricity consumed by the firm’s data centres is sourced from renewables. In order to advance the data centres, Microsoft will aim to increase this figure to 50 per cent by 2018 and 60 per cent “early in the next decade.”

Microsoft has decreased carbon emissions on its main campus in Washington by 9.5m metric tonnes as part of the company’s RE100 pledge. It has also purchased 14bn kilowatt hours of ‘green’ energy which has reduced energy consumption by 10 per cent on campus.

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has also introduced a US$1.7 billion plan to construct two giant data centres in Europe, one in County Galway, Ireland and the other in central Denmark, both powered by 100 per cent renewable energy.