Search engine operator Google will power all its data centres and offices using renewable power in 2017.

The company said it was now buying 2.6GW of solar and wind capacity.

Google signed its first power purchase agreement in 2010 to buy the entire output from a 114MW solar farm in Iowa.

The firm said it had spent $3.5 billion (£2.8bn) so far buying renewable energy from 20 projects, with around two-thirds of the spending accrued in the United States.

Costs coming down

Urs Hölzle, senior vice president of technical infrastructure at Google, said: “Over the past six years, the cost of wind and solar came down 60% and 80%, respectively, proving that renewables are increasingly becoming the lowest-cost option.

“Electricity costs are one of the largest components of our operating expenses at our data centres, and having a long-term stable cost of renewable power provides protection against price swings in energy.

“As we look to the immediate future, we’ll continue to pursue these direct contracts as we grow, with an even greater focus on regional renewable energy purchases in places where we have data centres and significant operations.”

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