scaling renewable energy

Every MWh of renewable energy that Equinix procures reduces the carbon footprint of both Equinix and its customers. Renewable energy represents an integral component of our carbon reduction strategy and enables our customers and partners to green their digital supply chains. Equinix has been an RE100 member since 2015 and also a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Green Power Partner National Top 100 company since 2015.

Our Renewable Energy Principles

Equinix applies four principles to our purchasing decisions as they relate to our goal of 100% clean and renewable energy:

  • Utilize renewable and low carbon energy
  • Secure 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
EPA Green Power Partner

Metrics and Progress

Through the efforts of our global Operations teams, we prioritize increasing and expanding our renewable energy purchasing even as we grow. In 2021, Equinix consumed 7,140 GWh of electricity in our data centers for both overhead infrastructure and customer IT load, an increase/decrease of 11% YOY. Of this 2021 consumption, 6,770 GWh or 95% was covered by renewable energy. Year-over-year, Equinix has increased our procurement of renewables by 16% on a GWh-basis.

232 Data Centers 27.2 million gross sq. ft 27 countries
7,140 GWh of electricity from the grid consumed in 2021 Equivalent to 610,000 U.S. homes electricity usage in a year 99% consumption from data centers, 1% from offices
Renewable Energy
95% Renewable Globally 205 sites with 100% renewable energy 7 new countries with renewable energy coverage added in 2021
260 MW under long-term power purchase agreement 6,770 GWh renewable out of 7,140 GWh electricity used 16% increase in MWh of renewable energy purchased

We procure renewable energy in all 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. In alignment with our principles, we continually review our portfolio to increase the quality, locality and additionality of our renewable energy purchases. Key focus areas include transitioning from certificates to virtual power purchasing agreements (VPPAs) where feasible and cost-effective and adding to our coverage in the Asia-Pacific region.

In 2021, our renewable energy was sourced from:

  • Wind farms in Oklahoma and Texas in the U.S.
  • Renewable energy certificates and local clean energy or low carbon programs in the U.S. and Brazil
  • Certified green power from our suppliers in Europe
  • Wind farm in Finland (commissioning scheduled for 2024)
  • International certificates from renewable energy projects in countries including Brazil, China, Columbia, Finland, India, Japan, Mexico, Oman, Poland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam

Pursuing Renewable Energy in Australia

In 2021, Equinix along with a group of four other businesses was granted the right to jointly negotiate green energy purchasing by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. The Equinix-led group is authorized to create pooled applications for solar and wind farm energy generation, connecting the group to the National Electricity market, and allowing the companies to individually enter into PPAs for 24 years. The authorization will promote increased competition for and subsequent investment in renewable energy – an important public benefit.

In 2021, Equinix had data center operations in 27 countries and purchased renewable energy in every country except Australia.

Beyond our renewable energy strategy, we continue to evaluate for onsite solar opportunities, onsite generation from fuel cells, and any other distributed low-carbon technology that fits with our overall strategy.

Onsite Solar Installations

The deployment of onsite solar PV is a continued focus for Equinix as a visible indicator of our commitment to clean energy. While onsite deployments do not represent a substantive proportion of our total renewable energy consumption, these installations leverage otherwise unused space and contribute toward our overall vision to support cleaner energy grids. In 2021, three data centers in Australia went live with new solar arrays (BR1, CA1, SY7 with 66kW, 39kW and 33kW respectively). These join existing global solar PV systems such as our 528kW system in Silicon Valley at SV10; 1,020kW system at BO2; and 455kW at NY11, and rooftop installation at SG3.

Energy and Renewable Energy Trends

Energy consumption in Gigawatt-hours over time. Equinix consumed 5,700 Gigawatt hours in 2019, 6,430 Gigawatt hours in 2020, and 7,140 Gigawatt hours in 2021. Also shown is Equinix's average annual Power Usage Effectiveness, which decreased from 1.54 in 2019, to 1.51 in 2020, and then to 1.48 in 2021.

Equinix’s portfolio of IBX data centers has doubled since 2015 and our overall efficiency has improved 5.5% year over year to 1.48 annual average PUE even as portfolio remains a mix of old and new sites

Renewable energy purchased compared to total electricity purchased over time. In 2019, Equinix purchased 5,250 Gigawatt hours of renewable energy out of 5,700 total electricity purchased. In 2020, Equinix purchased 5,840 Gigawatt hours of renewable energy out of 6,430 total. In 2021, Equinix purchased 6,770 Gigawatt hours of renewable energy out of 7,140 total.
Global renewable energy coverage over time: 92% in 2019, 91% in 2020, and 95% in 2021.

Equinix’s renewable energy coverage has been over 90% since 2018. In 2021, we achieved 95% renewable electricity and in the last two years absolute renewable energy purchasing on a MWh-basis has increased 29%.

Renewable energy by region. EMEA: 2,670 Gigawatt hours of renewable energy out of 2,680 total electricity. Asia-Pacific: 1,120 Gigawatt hours of renewable energy out of 1,470, Americas: 2,980 Gigawatt hours out of 2,990 total.
Renewable energy percentage rounded to the nearest whole number: 100% in Americas and EMEA, 76% in Asia-Pacific

Equinix purchased renewable energy in 26 out of 27 countries in 2021.*
Over 200 IBX’s were 100% renewable.

*Sites from the GPX acquisition were excluded from our GHG reporting boundary in 2021

Energy composition mix by percentage of Gigawatt hours. 5% brown power. 13% virtual power purchasing agreements. 37% supplier green power. 45% renewable energy certificates.

Equinix takes advantage of a variety of renewable energy procurement options throughout the world. Our preferred options 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.

Advocacy and Collaboration

Advocacy is a hallmark of our strategy as we leverage the buying power of many companies through a single voice. We are building awareness about how corporations can purchase renewable energy and we advocate for bringing more renewables onto the grid for all customers and consumers of electricity.

In 2021, we participated as faculty in three sessions for CEBA member organizations, including over 120 Equinix customers, to learn more about conducting renewable energy deals. These knowledge-building efforts grow the industry’s capacity and associated impact toward CEBA’s goal of 90% decarbonization of the electric grid by 2030.

Awards and Recognition

Equinix has received recognition from a variety of organizations for our leadership in the renewable energy space.

“With CEBA, 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/CEBA CEO April 2019

Design and Innovate for the Environment

Equinix designs, builds and operates sustainable data centers and engages in green financing opportunities.