Microsoft Quincy Datacenter Official

Microsoft Green has detailed its plans to build an infrastructure that is environmentally friendly. The company has committed to using 50% renewable energy to power its global data centers by 2018. That means at least half of all Microsoft’s entire global datacenter network will be powered by clean energy.

The announcement was made by Rob Bernard. The Microsoft Environmental Strategist said on the Microsoft Green blog that the commitment is just the start. By 2020 the company will increase its renewable energy dependency to 60%. After that there are not confirmed numbers, but Bernard says numbers will grow.

“We committed to greater transparency, including reporting our energy consumption across regions and the mix of sources for the power we use, while continuing to report our total energy consumption and impact of our carbon program.”

Plans Underway

In the blog, Bernard points out that Microsoft is currently at 44% towards its 50% target by 2018. The company uses numerous green energy methods to power its datacenters. Wind, solar, and hydro-electricity are the main energy sources. A new commitment in Virginia will being 20 megawatts of solar energy onto the grid.

To ensure that its datacenters manage the energy well, the company is improving energy efficiency. Among the avenues being explored includes energy storage methods, and how storage is maintained. Microsoft will also support public initiatives created to help accelerate clean energy use in the United States.

The company is part of a joint amicus brief with the White House Clean Power Plan. That plan is expected to get underway later this month. To ensure commitments are met, Microsoft is embarking on a position of transparency and clarity in how it uses energy. The company will report its energy consumption around the world.