Energy and Renewables

In 2015, Equinix set a long-term goal to reach 100% clean and renewable energy across our global interconnection and data center platform. We also joined RE100 and set an intermediate goal of reaching 50% by the end of 2017 – a goal that we reached one year early when we hit 56% renewable at the end of 2016.

In 2019, we achieved over 90% renewable energy use, totaling 5,250 GWh, up from 34% in 2015. Our renewable energy efforts have driven down our carbon footprint by 60% since 2015, even as our overall data center footprint and energy consumption has doubled from 2,600 GWh in 2015 to ~5,740 GWh in 2019.

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Our Renewable Energy Principles

We have a long-term goal of using 100% clean and renewable energy for our global platform. To support this goal, we have identified four principles to help us guide our renewable energy purchasing decisions:

  • Utilize renewable and low carbon energy
  • Source local sources of renewable energy where possible
  • Seek new or recently built generation sources
  • Advocate for favorable renewable energy policies and consider renewable energy availability when locating new data centers
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Progress

92% Renewable165 sites with 100% renewable energy
225 MW under long-term power purchase agreement5,250 GWh renewable out of ~5,740 GWh electricity usage

Even as Equinix has expanded into new markets and built and acquired IBXs around the world, we have sustained the growth of our renewable energy footprint. In 2019, we purchased renewable energy from wind, solar, small hydro, and biomass for 92% of our global electricity consumption. This represents: 16 countries were covered at 100% and 165 of our 200+ locations worldwide offering our customers 100% renewable energy.

We procure electricity from renewable energy sources in all three regions of the world in which we operate. Our renewable power comes from a variety of projects and products that are certified to meet rigorous reporting and retirement standards. Our renewable energy comes from:

  • Wind farms in Oklahoma and Texas and local clean energy or low carbon programs in the U.S. and Brazil
  • Certified green power from our suppliers in Europe
  • International certificates from renewable energy projects in China, Japan and Vietnam

Onsite Renewable Energy

Onsite solar PV is a visible sign of Equinix’s commitment to renewables. While onsite deployments do not contribute a substantive amount of power to an Equinix data center, we have expanded deployment of solar in our portfolio. Our SV10 IBX in Silicon Valley was completed in 2017 and was recently outfitted with a 528kW solar PV system.

Energy and Renewable Energy by the Numbers

In 2019, Equinix consumed ~5,740 GWh of electricity in its data centers. This includes both overhead infrastructure usage, as well as customer IT load. Although our overall energy usage is growing, our global Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) has improved annually. PUE is a measure of how efficiently we are powering our customers’ IT equipment.

Of our energy total, 5,250 GWh or 92% was from renewable energy generation procured by Equinix: 38% was from green power provided by our suppliers, 44% was from renewable energy certificates and 18% was from virtual power purchase agreements for wind power in the U.S. Year-over-year, Equinix has increased its procurement of renewables by 10% on a GWh-basis.

Equinix’s portfolio of IBX data centers has doubled since 2015 and our overall efficiency has improved ~5%. We also strive to use more renewable energy to lower our carbon footprint from energy consumption.

Equinix’s renewable energy coverage has increased every year since 2015 even as our electricity usage has doubled. We aim to increase both the quality of products we buy and the percentage of renewables in our overall energy mix.

Equinix’s U.S. data center load and all European countries achieved 100% renewable in 2019. Japan, China and Singapore were 100% in 2019 using high-quality renewable energy certificates.

Equinix takes advantage of a variety of renewable energy procurement options throughout the world. Our preferred options are those that directly contribute to new generation sources coming online but we also benefit from a variety of renewable energy products with the aim to improve over time.

Leadership and Collaboration

At Equinix, we are also helping others learn more about how to purchase renewable energy and we advocate for bringing more renewables on the grid for all customers and consumers of electricity.

 

Equinix is a founding member and sits on the Board of Directors of the Renewable Energy Buyer’s Alliance (REBA), an alliance of large clean energy buyers, developers and service providers working to move markets toward a renewable energy future. REBA sponsors periodic boot camps and biannual meetings for buyers to learn about strategies for purchasing renewable energy.

Awards and Recognition

Equinix has also received recent recognition from other organizations for our leadership in the clean energy space.

“With REBA, we are bringing the buying power of large energy consumers together to change markets. Equinix was one of our earliest members and the first in their industry to publicly commit to a 100% renewable energy goal. Equinix has gone beyond their own footprint to serve as true leaders in the clean energy buyer community, and their expertise is helping us move the needle to a cleaner, more affordable, zero-carbon energy future.”

– Miranda Ballentine, REBA CEO April 2019

Carbon Reduction

Our efforts to reduce energy usage and increase renewable energy purchasing result in significant carbon reductions.