We believe in taking responsibility for our carbon emissions and promoting sustainable environmental solutions. Today, we hosted an event with the Silicon Valley Leadership Group: Electric Bills & Oil Spills: Will California Continue to be a Clean Energy Leader? The discussion focused on AB32, California’s landmark legislation to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions, and the future of the clean energy economy here in California and across the country.
California has led the nation in putting in place the right energy policies to foster growth in the clean energy economy. Google has been an early and strong supporter of AB32, legislation that creates jobs and spurs the development of clean energy technologies. In fact, last year, California's policies attracted 60 percent of all cleantech investment capital in North America -- $2.1 billion. From 1995 to 2008, California has seen a 45 percent increase in green businesses, and a 36 percent expansion in green jobs. That’s why we joined Californians for Clean Energy and Jobs, a coalition of businesses, NGOs, and labor organizations that support AB32.
Indeed, we believe our work in clean energy is good for business. We made the decision to become carbon neutral in 2007. We are minimizing our energy consumption with some of the most energy efficient data centers in the world, lowering our energy costs. And we are purchasing carbon offsets for the emissions we can’t eliminate. We also seek to power our facilities with renewable energy, like one of the largest corporate solar installations at our headquarters in Mountain View, CA. And we’re making investments in renewable energy, such as our $38.8 million investment in two North Dakota wind farms, and our recent agreement to purchase 114MW of wind energy over a 20 year period, spurring real growth in the sector by giving the developer financial certainty to develop new projects.
As a technology company, we’ve seen how the power of innovation can change the way we live our lives. Eric Schmidt said it best: “In Silicon Valley, it was the limitations of one technology or system that served as the drivers of change and led to the success of our industries here. AB32 provides a similar opportunity for new job creation in many sectors as business responds to the need for energy-efficient buildings, transportation and a growing portfolio of renewable energy resources.”
We’re committed to finding the right solutions to a clean energy future and we hope California’s policies continue to lead the way.
Posted by Bill Weihl, Green Energy Czar