Microsoft is making a big push into solar energy

A solar panel and wind power farm
(Image credit: Shutterstock / crystal51)

Microsoft has announced a power purchase agreement (PPA) in South Korea that will see it add up to 2.5 gigawatts of solar power in its efforts to rely solely on renewable energy by 2030.

The company has long been dedicated to using clean energy but it has changed the way it has aimed to meet its targets over the years. While it initially began purchasing renewable energy credits designed to offset its carbon emissions, it has now shifted its focus to PPAs that will see it deliver clean energy to many of its operations.

The Register (opens in new tab) reports that the company has 200 offices and 60 cloud regions, all of which demand a huge amount of energy.

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Microsoft solar energy

While the plan to install up to 2.5 gigawatts of energy may sound like a responsible move for anybody familiar with their own home’s energy usage, for something as large as a data center, some believe that it’s no more than a token gesture, while others think that any progress is good progress.

Data centers have long faced scrutiny for the amount of energy used, and while many chip manufacturers have focused on delivering more power efficient models, our growing Internet presence has seen our need for cloud storage increase drastically.

According to The Register’s report, the company had already signed PPAs for renewable energy in the region of 10 gigawatts by the end of last year, with claims that it had been working simultaneously on reducing emissions.

Besides Microsoft’s own operations, it has also reported that a significant amount of the emissions related with the company come from external sources, such as the purchase, sales, transportation of goods and services, leaving very little that the company can do besides piling on the pressure to third parties. 

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the electrification of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!