Electricity Maps Blog
April 23, 2020
3 min read
Illustration from Google’s blogpost
On Earth Day, Google, one of the world’s most influential companies and one of the biggest data center operators, revealed that they have partnered with us to reduce their climate impact - a humbling and exciting moment for Electricity Maps!
Ana Radovanovic, Technical Lead for Carbon-Intelligent Computing at Google, explains that they use Electricity Maps’ technology to ”predict how the average hourly carbon intensity of the local electrical grid will change over the course of a day” which is used to ”align compute tasks with times of low-carbon electricity supply”. She concludes that ”early results demonstrate carbon-aware load shifting works. Results from our pilot suggest that by shifting compute jobs we can increase the amount of lower-carbon energy we consume.”
To make these predictions, Google uses Electricity Maps, a platform that shows in real-time how green electricity is around the world. It is also the largest database of past, current and forecasted carbon footprint data for electricity in many countries. This platform allows Electricity Maps’ partners to shift their energy usage to more optimal times for environmental and financial reasons, as we’ve described previously. In previous research, Electricity Maps has shown that using Electricity Maps data as a signal when charging electric cars or heating pools can reduce the carbon footprint of electricity consumption by up to 25%.
We are also very excited about the future of this partnership, as Google mentions that they will soon test the impact of moving flexible compute tasks between different data centers and that they will share their methodology with performance results of their global rollout in upcoming research publications.
This partnership and its outcomes pave the way for other organisations with intensive and flexible electricity usage to reduce their carbon footprint and their costs, as renewable energy is often correlated with low electricity prices. If this is relevant to your organisation, check out our API page to connect with us.
In this special moment, it’s worth taking a step back to thank Google, all our partners, our current and former team members, as well as our amazing open-source community. We send a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has put countless hours into adding more and more countries on the map and make Electricity Maps a vital tool helping governments, organizations and individuals become more climate-friendly, and we look forward to increasing our impact on carbon emission reductions in the future.
A few press articles about the partnership: