In a blog post this morning, Google has announced that it plans to provide seed funding to the Center for Resource Solutions (CRS), with the aim to begin rollout of effective energy certification programs across Asia, starting in Taiwan.

Google has long-aimed to power 100% of its operations using renewable energy. Whether that means wind or solar farms, the tech giant wants to ensure its huge data centers aren’t using any non-renewable fossil fuels and — in doing so — causing damage to the environment.

While that’s relatively easy in developed markets like the US or Europe, it’s a little trickier in Asia, mostly because the area doesn’t have effective energy certification programs. Google currently has data centers in Taiwan and Singapore and wants to ensure it can “begin laying the groundwork to establish such programs across Asia.”

What these programs do is help companies know that power being purchased is coming from renewable sources. Google explains it like this:

They work by “tagging” each MWh of energy generated from a source like wind or solar as renewable, which creates a renewable energy certificate (“REC”). This is especially important to us in Taiwan, where we are actively looking to purchase renewable energy for our data center.

By using these ‘tagging’ systems, Google can know that when it buys power, it’s buying it from a green source. This gives Google the assurance it needs to claim that it is, indeed, running all of its facilities on renewable energy. Without it, Google can’t make those claims, and can’t be sure that it is using energy from only renewable sources.

With Google’s funding, CRS will start by examining the best methods for structuring these programs across Asia. They’re also going to build a “coalition of international stakeholders from the public, private, and NGO sectors” in order to push the efforts forwards. In short: Google isn’t just putting its own money in, it’ll build up a group of other investors to make sure the project is effective.


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