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Students showcasing research posters at the 2015 GCEP Symposium

Google's Search for 24x7 carbon-free energy

March 4, 2020 - 4:30pm to 5:20pm
Y2E2 111
Event Sponsor: 
Stanford Bits and Watts Initiative
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In 2017, Google became the first company of its size to match 100% of its global annual electricity consumption with purchases of renewable energy. However, despite the company’s large-scale procurement of wind and solar power, Google’s offices and data centers must still plug into regional electric grids that carry a mix of clean and carbon-based power. That’s why Google is now working toward sourcing enough carbon-free energy to match its electricity demand in all places, at all times. Getting to “24x7 carbon-free energy” will be essential for addressing climate change, but requires answering a challenging question: how can we bridge the gap between existing, variable renewable energy resources and the constant demands of the digital economy? Michael Terrell will discuss Google’s first year charting a course toward 24x7 carbon-free energy -- and what’s to come.

Michael Terrell, Director, Operations and Head of Energy Market Strategy, Google LLC  

Michael Terrell leads global energy market strategy and 24x7 carbon-free energy initiatives for Google’s data center and energy portfolio. In this role, he has brought Google’s first renewable energy projects to new markets on three continents, led efforts to evaluate and deploy next-generation carbon-free energy technologies, delivered hundreds of millions of dollars in operational energy savings, and launched partnerships to scale renewable energy purchasing across the business community.

Prior to joining Google, Michael worked as an attorney at a leading energy firm and held several roles in the Federal government, including the White House Council on Environmental Quality, where he helped guide US policy on energy and environmental issues. With over 25 years of experience, he has been quoted as an expert on energy by The New York Times, The Economist, NPR, USA Today, and numerous other publications. Michael currently serves as Board Chair of the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (

Michael holds a JD from the University of Michigan, a master's degree from Yale University’s Environment School, and a BS from the University of the South.

Admission Info

Open to all Faculty/Staff, Students, Alumni/Friends, Members

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