Recording and presentations: Green Energy for Data Centers
27 February 2020
Automated transcription (it may contain errors)
Belén Gallego 1:24
Good morning West Coast people and good afternoon here in Europe. Just wanted to say that you are in the right place that we are going to have in this room, the webinar about green energy for data centers to use Hong Kong with us for two minutes. We have just given some time to people to join the room. And just I would like to invite everyone to introduce themselves to introduce yourself using the chat. You know, your name your company in order to join you from we have a very international speaker set today. So, yeah, just like we’d like to hear from you. Thank you very much and we will begin in literally two minutes.
Well, good morning. Good afternoon to everyone who’s joined us here today. We’re going to talk today about renewable energy or green energy for data centers. I think at the moment internationally, private ppas and especially data centers are one of the fastest growing and most interesting customers for corporate customers for renewable energy ipbs. And so independent power producers and developers. So I think this is a very important topic we are we are discussing today. And we have with us as well, three speakers who are going to be telling us that know how, in this specific topic, and therefore really important companies in the area. So we have with us and I’d like for you guys to invite you to introduce yourselves, Maria and john from Microsoft, would you please introduce yourselves?
Unknown Speaker 3:47
Hi everyone. My name is Amina Cordova, I work for Microsoft energy and sustainability team. I’m a project manager here and cover many of the regions within The Americas North and South America.
Belén Gallego 4:03
Thank you very much, john.
Unknown Speaker 4:06
Hey folks, my name is john shoe. I’m also on the energy sustainability team. I am part of the sub team within the team that’s responsible for procuring renewables. And most of us are based out of Redmond, Washington, which is right outside of Seattle.
Belén Gallego 4:25
Actually, thank you very much. What about you calling?
Unknown Speaker 4:28
Hi, everyone. My name is Colin Smith. I’m a senior analyst for with McKenzie based in Boston, Massachusetts. My focused area of analysis is formally in the solar sector, but as the large scales will be the energy transition over to renewables, particularly by large corporations.
Belén Gallego 4:48
Well, thank you very much, all of you for your introduction. And I mean, many of you have already been in our webinars before we’d like to go to the point you know, this is just under one hour. So what we have is a presentation from you Anna Maria first and then we’ll have a presentation from calling. Did I get that right? No, it’s the other way around. Sorry about that calling you go first and then we’ll have john and Maria. Sorry about that like momentarily. And then after that, you can send us your questions and we’ll take them at the end. So every time we do is very similar structure. So calling, I’m going to invite you to share your screen with us. Once you do that, I just like to remind you all that we are going to have recordings and also the materials for this webinar, and you will be sent a link where you can download everything calling go ahead if you want to prepare your screen. And I just like to say also, you know, welcome to all of you I see there are people from the UK, from Ireland, from India, from Qatar, even so much person Qatar, Brazil, Germany, people also here in Madrid. So welcome everyone. I know that you know where you are in may be very late, but here it is. We appreciate you being here today, but I think The topic is very important for us to discuss. Colleen, I can see your presentation perfectly. Go ahead.
Unknown Speaker 6:07
Terrific. So my goal here today was really to set the stage for everyone on on where I see the renewal of our sector going on, particularly focusing on the US. But this is a transition that we really are seeing globally. And a trend that we’re seeing across the, you know, multiple countries, is driven by some of the very same statistics and economic and political factors that we’re seeing in the United States. Where I wanted to sort of start us off with is just looking at the total US electricity energy demand. If we break that down to roughly 70% of all electricity demand is coming from the commercial industrial sector. So from a very broad perspective, what we’re seeing is that, you know, well over two thirds of all energy that is coming from these very large groups that have very high No electricity needs as times going on as as companies are more and more shifting to dealing with climate change and political pressures and various other renewable portfolio standards. They’re also sort of changing their energy infrastructure. Through this, what we’re seeing is the massive adaptation of physically wind and solar energy and more and more so battery storage as well. To look at this from sort of a demand perspective, one of the things we did most recently was basically to take the estimated coat total current power of man, the fortune 1000, someone representative share in some respects of the entire USC and I sector to look at, you know, what, exactly what the demand, how much of that fee was being met for renewables. And what was the sort of adaptation and the fast pace? What we found is that we’ve really only barely scratched the surface of meeting the total fortune 1000 electricity demand, but the reality is, the vast majority of us have Companies your year are expressing increased interest in more and more renewables because it’s lowering overall costs and helping them to meet green targets. The main factors that are really driving this, ultimately, if we leave policy and climate change entirely off the table, is the fact that wind and solar costs are really haven’t climbed dramatically. If we look at the levelized cost of electricity on the left back in 2010, we can see that you know, onshore wind and utility solar were, you know, over two times the cost of gas combined cycle plants. And today what we’re seeing is kind of, in sort of the 2020 range is that utility solar beats outs are sort of on par beating out virtually all gas combined cycles, and in many character is speeding out onshore wind. One of the other factors that we look at Something we call net con the cost of new entry. So is the actual revenue that a company for carrying or owning their own solar wind system greater than the cost of actually adding a new new system in any sense, you know, simple math terms, you would want your revenue to be exceeding the actual net costs and provide benefit to us a company. What we see in the long run is that as the production tax credit for wins, and the United States is stepping down based on pure economics, solar is tending to be that wind and virtually most territories. And despite winds, very low price, what we’re seeing happening more and more frequently, is that there’s simply congestion issues in particular state markets, too. If we look at actually the net numbers of what’s been happening to we see a pretty dramatic trend. So if we look at the total net amount of utility, solar And when that have been being procured by either directly or indirectly by large corporations and industrial companies 2015 or earlier, who’s about 6.2 gigawatts in 2016, that was about 1.7, almost doubled in 2017. You know, 2018 is it’s been increasing year over year. And then in 2019, we’ve beaten that record again. And so what’s happening is we’re seeing this tremendous move. That’s actually, you know, the the economic factors we outlined earlier, is now we’re actually seeing it happening in real time, the contracts by these large companies have been signed, more and more companies are actually buying solar and wind energy and moving towards being powered entirely by green electrons. If we start looking at who these companies are, and what some of the dynamics are, to what we can see as as a very interesting pattern, for the vast majority of these companies are technology and data firms like Microsoft, their companies that have very large Energy loads to a specific type of building a data center.
Unknown Speaker 11:05
To quickly pivot away from that into, you know, the rising race. There’s a group called the already 100 corporations that have pledged to meeting 100% clean energy or zero carbon targets. year over year over year, we see the number of corporations doing this increasing. And besides the companies who have actually made the pledge, we’ve seen many others make promises and goals that they’re moving towards quite aggressively. And beyond that, to not only are we seeing a rise in the number of new entrants into the market, but we’re seeing a rise in the number of repeat buyers into the market. So not only are new companies coming in to buy wind and solar for the first time, but we’re seeing more and more companies actually preparing additional projects, after having done one or two or multiple projects before that. The quickly back to data centers and one of the main topics we’re here to discuss today. These technology and data from Although you know, data centers aren’t the entire cause of the energy, demand for power of this type, they’re a very large portion of it. Data Centers typically use between 20% and 87% more electricity per square foot than a comparable building. So they’re driving a tremendous amount of the demand that we’re seeing. And typically, what we’re seeing as well, is that not only is that part of partly responsible for the reason that that demographic is so highly represented by energy procurement companies, but it’s also one of the reasons that they’re driving some of the largest projects that we’re seeing. So, the in we took this data primarily towards the sort of the beginning of 2019. At that point in time, roughly the technology and data center average system size was closer to 100 megawatts, if you compare that sort of the industrial sector, including manufacturing and other and other racetam caught system processing, its You know, half that at 51 megawatt retail services are about at 42. So we’re talking companies like Target, IKEA, Walmart, etc. and healthcare is slowly emerging sector of it as well. And ultimately, where’s this all going? What we see is the CNI sector is actually thriving. What is a major portion of us renewable energy market at this point? Historically, on the wind side, it’s driven, you know, anywhere between 25 and 45% of all procurements by volume in a given year. On the solar side, we’re now at 25% of projects in development have some sort of corporate off ticker. So we’re, we’re not only just talking about how corporations are transitioning into this, but we’re talking about how corporations like this are actually shaping the entire US electricity market going forward by about 2024. I don’t have the screen. In front of you, but by 2024 utility solar in the United States will. There’ll be more utility solar community capacity additions than hydro, coal, natural gas and all other carbon sources combined. So in terms of what new generation is being added to the grid, solar with Windows, in addition to it, both onshore and offshore, renewables are absolutely going to beat up carbon sources. If you look at the graph in front of you, what you can kind of see is that, you know, By the mid 2020s, we’re seeing, you know, four or five gigawatts of annual cumulative capacity addition of renewables. You know, this is more than, you know, two points or 4.2 4.5, but we’ll see in 2023 2024 is more power than we saw come online to the entire United States in 2016. From a utility solar standpoint, what we’re seeing is this demand and drive is actually pushing a tremendous amount of new energy onto the
Unknown Speaker 15:01
Which will be a very interesting transition. And lastly, the one thing I’ll add is many, much of the focus I’ve talked about here today is really looking at large scale procurements. But the reality is, there’s a tremendously vast number of ways that which corporations can actually procure energy. There’s front of the meter procurement, buying power from very large power, solar and wind power plants that are miles away. there’s what’s called distributed, many of you know about, which is typically on site and behind the meter, we’re now getting into more and more merchant projects, actually corporations being able to buy renewable energy on the wholesale market, and many more utilities also offering what it often termed green terrace deals that simply allow the utility to provide a much higher level of renewable penetration to a commercial off taker than would be normal. So the last note I’ll leave you with before transitioning off to say that this transition that about line is something that’s absolutely we’re seeing happening very rapidly, but the methods by which it happened will be very diverse and will see a tremendous amount of not only new products being added, but new contractual and financial engineering to meet these goals, and a lot of creativity sort of coming in and innovation in order for these companies to really hit these targets of often the hundred percent or net zero carbon or in many cases negative carbon impact. And with that, I’ll turn it over to gentlemen Maria.
Belén Gallego 16:29
Thank you very much quoting if I may ask you to just perfect Thank you, you go ahead and stand your Maria. This is your time now. You can just put your presentation up. And when you’re ready, and we have a few questions already. We’ll get to them right after the presentation. So then I think we’ll have plenty of time to go through them. Right. We can see it perfectly. Go ahead.
Unknown Speaker 16:52
One second, sir. Okay. Well, thank you calling for the presentation. So what you and I are going to do is just talk a little bit about how we procure power for our data centers here. Let’s let me start with. Yeah, now it’s working. Let’s let me start with this picture that shows having a lot of people have been with within a data center building. So I wanted to start with this. And this is how a normal or typical data center looks like. It’s just a bunch of servers and computers housed in a in a in a big building in what we’re seeing is the world is just like turning into a future that is even more and more and more based and cloud computing. These data centers are the backbone of those services. This is where all the cloud computing services are run into where all the information Is the stored and processed. And as this services become more more and more important for everyone for personal and business users, what we see is a bunch of public issues that are arising and emerging. And one of those issues is energy and sustainability of data centers. So that’s what our team does with spend a lot of time just thinking about what’s our role within the energy supply chain, and what we can do. So what I’m going to do and john is going to do is just share it, where we are at Microsoft what we’ve done and what our commitments are going forward. This slide shows our footprint. So as you can see, this is a global global business with significant infrastructure behind that. So we have What we call Asher regions. So I should is the Microsoft Cloud. So we have 6056. Right now I should regions around the globe, we have presence in hundred and 40 countries and the way more than hundred data centers. Those days there’s buildings that I just showed in the prior in the prior slide. So as he as the way we want to think about this is that we’re building a data utility. So the similar to power and electricity utility. Now what we have is this so the dots represent the data centers and they are all interconnected and data is being transported. And I’m, this day doesn’t just communicate with one another. So this is what we’re building. Um, some people are more familiar with Microsoft products. So we have here in the middle of Microsoft Azure, but if you think about your your daily lives we have OneDrive, Outlook Skype teams. The Xbox Live exchange brings up this product if we don’t realize sometimes, but all these products and services run on those data centers that we were talking about. And we have so many users and traffic that every day they the usage in the utilization of the of the data center is bigger and bigger. So what does it mean? It means that power is a key ingredient for this operation. So we we see power is a key it’s become and we see it as a key component of the operation of Microsoft Cloud. In and of course, I as the cloud business and services grow, this poster becomes a big responsibility for a company He like Microsoft. So, we not only need to make sure that there is power available in sufficient for the operations, but we are, of course, a big big or large
Unknown Speaker 21:14
power user. And therefore, we take that responsibility very, very seriously. The one important thing to note is that even though the data centers themselves and the operations grow, they this type of hyper scale data centers are much more energy efficiency and energy efficient than the individual server and data centers that each customer may have in their own premises or facilities. In that happens, not only because of economies of scale, but also because for a company like Microsoft, the cloud is a core competency and therefore, we’re spend a significant resources and we do a lot of research and development to make sure that we drive towards energy efficiency. So although there the usage of data centers has grown significantly over the past few years, the total power consumption over the past few years have remained relatively stable. So what specifically, we’re focusing on in the energy sector. So we’d like to put that in under this three areas. So the first area is we want to make sure that we generate clean energy for our operations. And john is going to talk about that in more in more detail. To we want to make sure that we are enabling and contributing to new generation technologies for new energy generation and Nokia technologies in all the markets we operate. And lastly that we bring new solutions to the markets, we operate them. And that means new business models, new technologies, new relationships with new utilities, and all that just to bring it to to help develop the markets we work on and to help move towards a low, low carbon future. Let me now just share a couple of projects examples that we’ve done in the in the past. So this first one is in Cheyenne, Wyoming here in the US. So we have data centers over there and we have a pretty significant operation. So a few years back, when we were planning our growth in the region, we started conversations with the utility In in started planning for this load that was going to hit the market. They told us initially Okay, yes, we can serve you No problem, but we’ll need to our generation to the great to be able to do that. Then on the other side, as you can imagine, for our data centers, we need like almost hundred percent reliability or power availability all the time, like 990 9.999% of the time. So what we usually do in our data center says have backup generation. So in addition to being connected to the utility grid, we have our own backup generation, a lot of the times current backup generation is diesel based and diesel. So it was like okay, the utility is gonna be build this new generation to be able to serve our data centers. And we’re going to install that same capacity in backup generation. So it didn’t look like the smartest solution from an energy perspective. So, what we
Unknown Speaker 25:13
agreed to do on the structure was to
Unknown Speaker 25:18
continuation generation based in natural gas that was going to be better than the coal generation that initially was initially planned by the the utility. And that those, those natural gas generators became part of the utilities, total generation and they planning. So the way it works is we’re basically on call and the utility can call us anytime for to provide pick generation for the grid. So it was a win win for everyone. There was no need to duplicate this The degeneration capacity that we needed, the natural gas was a more environmentally friendly solution than then then coal. And this shows how we try to promote our relationships with utility. So why not find solutions? This is just one example of and which both the utility customers and Microsoft benefit from. And lastly, let me share another another example. Some recently, also in the US in the PJM market. We run a pilot project that send energy energy storage project for one of our data centers in the region. So what we’re seeing is that not since we need that level of reliability in our data center, There’s a lot of the times we have underutilize generation backup generation or storage and at the same time and in not only PGM, but the different grades we see more intermittency in utility grids in the utilities trying to make investments in, in to try to manage the the introduction of more and more and more renewable energy. So, we had under utilized assets, the utility words, with a gray was more intermittent. So we were trying we were it was saw an opportunity there. So the question is, what can we do? How can we help? How can we ensure that our operation is reliable but not put extra pressure on them? And so what we did last year was the pilot on high energy storage and the the object Two of the pilot was to basically have a battery that charges during off peak hours, and then these charges on peak hours. And the objective is just to what we call load load shifting. So just try to reduce our, our impact on the peak hours of the grid. So this has a lot of benefits for the grid and for us, so for the game is obviously less is a lower need for big generation, which we all know is more expensive and a lot of the times is based on fuel and fossil fuels. And for us is also less generation on those peak hours are the most expensive of the day. So that’s a pilot that we run. We’re moving with a different pilot now. That will use artificial intelligence to try to hit the hours of the of the day in which the peaks are the highest. And then we are also going to pi load frequency regulation services for the grid
Unknown Speaker 29:14
Unknown Speaker 29:16
integrated with our data centers. So these were just like a couple of examples of what we’re doing. Now. Let me turn it over to Joan, which was going to go into our more of the renewable energy piece and our commitments going forward.
Unknown Speaker 29:35
Thank you, Maria.
Unknown Speaker 29:38
All right. Hi, folks. Before I go into our renewable energy programs, and we’re I’m we’re representing our data center energy and sustainability team. So most of our work is focused on procuring electricity and renewables for our data centers. So I kind of want to zoom out to the company level to sort of cover
Unknown Speaker 30:01
To sort of,
Unknown Speaker 30:04
sorry, should have Next slide. Just to talk a little bit, touch a little bit on why Microsoft is doing this. So I think Collin touched on it a little bit. But if you look at graphs about CNI customers, particularly data centers and the LCU of renewables and the cost of renewables, it might lead you to think that data centers need electricity and renewables will be able to provide that electricity cheaply. That is not really the case. renewables is cost competitive in certain markets, but not uniformly across around the world. And Microsoft is doing this because there are a number of reasons why Microsoft is doing this, but the main reason is because it’s the right thing to do. Um, Maria touched on this in her examples, and when she talked about Power beat being the primary feedstock of data centers, the data center team, we think of ourselves as part of the energy value chain. When you think about when you think about electrons flowing through the grid and into our data centers, we’re essentially taking those electrons and refining it into content. So we’re actually as much part of the energy value chain as as a wind farm might be. So we think of ourselves as citizens of the energy value chain, and we have a responsibility to do the right thing for the energy industry. So the this webinar actually comes at a really great time because a few weeks ago, our CEO, our CFO and our president, all got up and announced a really ambitious climate plan for Microsoft to be by 2030 carbon negative and she by 2050, remove all of the carbon We’ve admitted into the environment either directly or through our electrical consumption. Since we were founded in 1975. So this announcement was really ambitious. Our focus on sustainability is actually not new. Microsoft has been tracking and reducing our carbon emissions since 2007. And we’ve actually been operating our we’ve been carbon neutral since 2012. We were actually one of the first companies to implement an internal carbon fee on our scope one and scope two emissions, which is actually a very powerful incentive for us internally to actually go and find carbon saving alternatives and invest in renewables and things like that. So as part of the announcement that Microsoft made a few weeks ago as I mentioned, the primary One is that Microsoft will be carbon negative by 2030 will remove all of our will remove all of the carbon that we’ve emitted by 20. By 2050. We plan to aggressively cut our carbon emissions by more than half by 2030. from both our direct emissions and for our entire supply and value chain by 25 2025, we will shift to 100% a supply of renewable energy and then the and then we will also reduce our scope three emissions by more than half by 20 3030. Through a series of measures the internal carbon the internal carbon fee that I mentioned for scope one and two emissions will also be extended to cover scope three emissions for all business units. This means that when a business unit is actually reporting their expenses, they have to book a line that says this is How much their carbon expense was. And they have to they actually have to do an internal, they have to pay for that internally. By 2030, we will remove up more carbon than we emit. And it’ll set us on a path to remove all of our historical carbon emissions.
Unknown Speaker 34:23
As part of the broader announcement, as I mentioned, we are we are increasing our renewables goal from our last one was actually 70% by 2023. we’ve committed to doing 100% renewables by 2025. And what this actually means is, for every megawatt hour of load that Microsoft consumes, we will procure a megawatt hour of additional renewable energy through power purchase agreements, green tariffs and other procurement mechanisms. Since We signed our first power purchase agreement in 2013. And since then we’ve signed, we’ve announced about two gigawatts of incremental renewable capacity in grids around the world. So this is just some of the deals that we’ve signed into our portfolio. We’ve done deals all around the world, we’ve done a lot of standalone solar standalone wind. Our portfolio also includes, for instance, solar rooftop portfolio in Singapore, offshore in the Netherlands, and a solar wind hybrid portfolio in Texas. And obviously, this portfolio is going to grow over the next few years as we as we march toward our 100% goal by 2025. And you’ll probably see this map looking a lot more like the Azure Data Center map that Maria showed at the very beginning.
Unknown Speaker 36:01
So that’s all I had.
Unknown Speaker 36:04
Unknown Speaker 36:07
I think it’s turned over to the crowd for questions.
Belén Gallego 36:11
Thank you very much, Ron, actually, I want as you just to take it off so that we can see you because then then the cameras become larger and the speakers fantastic. We have a lot of questions as you can see them there. But I’d like to start with one of my own. And one of the things with energies that is not necessarily produced, especially when it’s very renewable at the time that is consumed. And you said, Okay, if we consume one megawatt hour, then we will, you know, procure one megawatt hour of renewable energy as well but is not really the same reducing megawatt hour at one point and it doesn’t cost the same as another essentially. So my question is, whether you’re looking into this possibility solutions or you know, actually being able, you talked a little bit about Low shifting, but in being able to get that energy when you want it, because there is also, you know, renewable energies that you can procure, and you can work a little bit more like butter. So just wondering, was it you guys are moving in that direction at all?
Unknown Speaker 37:15
Yeah, we we are definitely moving in that direction. So when we’re procuring a megawatt hour for a megawatt hour that we consume, we’re looking at it on an annual basis. So we’re not looking at it on an hourly basis. However, we are, there are initiatives for us to do that more often. Because we do ultimately care about the carp taking carbon off of the grid. So we have to think about the, the,
Unknown Speaker 37:47
the complete consequences of all of our decisions.
Belén Gallego 37:51
Yeah, my point is like, you know, procuring, like photovoltaic energy, say, you know, like 12 o’clock, you know, noon is very, very cheap, you know, almost zero, you know, the costs The energy not zero, but like is really low. And but that doesn’t mean that you know that you need energy from Gaza like 8pm, you know, is the same tells a lot more expensive. So it’s one of those things calling you seem like you wanted to add something because you would like a muting yourself. You want to add something
we cannot hear you. We cannot hear you. Now, yes, sorry about that.
Unknown Speaker 38:30
No, I, I think and part of it, we’re talking about a little bit alluded to this at the end. There’s going to be absolutely multiple avenues by which this happens. I think, you know, there’s going to be load shifting. I think we’re going to see batteries also being used for other uses, such as transmission upgrade deferrals and or ton of use and frequency regulation, which also will help save on costs and allow more costs to be invested elsewhere. I think one of the big factors in terms of you know, social energy being cheap and at noon and not being able to be used at 8pm at night is something that is going to happen and load shifting with sort of battery surges is one all one possibilities that, but as I mentioned, we’re going to see multiple avenues by which you’re going to be able to tackle a lot of these problems, whether or not the through, you know, better transmission through high voltage, DC transmission lines, long term or other long term solutions that can actually provide solutions that are not quite ready yet. renewables and battery storage do have their limits. And a lot of what we’re talking about here today ultimately surrounds the question of what are the limits? And how do we still hit these goals within the limits of what the technology is today? And how can we push that technology a little bit further in the future?
Belén Gallego 39:47
Totally. I was actually at a great event last week in Sacramento. And one of the things you saw as you did this was there, you know, very senior people from the western part of the US and everyone is like of course, we’re the renewables. We love renewables and they are super cheap. And you know, we love that stuff. But there is really at the moment, not a lot of mechanisms to value all that it is like baseload renewable production, which is very different, you know, from just like battery production, because it’s more expensive. And there is no mechanisms to come for that. And I’m talking particularly about this technology called concentrated solar power, which can either is produced 24, seven, you know, continuously or we can produce at night, you know, was you use very cheap PV a day, and it’s impossible to make it work, because everyone wants to do renewable, that is cheap, but that that you cannot value it because there is guys, you know, there is cold and there’s this other stuff, you know, yeah, I don’t I don’t want to procure that. So, you know, this was what were my question came from. It’s actually because I was last week that and I realized that the problem is everyone recognizes the need for it is no one seems to have enough stacking of value to be able to say, yes, we’re willing to pay for this at this moment. Anyway, it was just one of those comments. All right. So there is a lot of comments here about cooling, guys. Obviously, you need a lot of cooling and your data centers. Are you using any mechanisms for that? So how do you do it? And are you willing to even invest into that sort of technology? Because there is renewable cooling? And it could be developed further?
Unknown Speaker 41:18
Yeah, we definitely use a lot of cooling. So the way we measure our energy consumption is what we use for it, which is the actual servers that routing, glass cooling and others like offices and everything. I’m not familiar with the, with the technologies. So I’m not able to speak a lot about that. But what I can say is that we have teams that are dedicated only to make sure that we drive towards more energy efficient cooling, in general. consumption, our data centers, we have a A measure for that that we call P, and that it just tells us for each data center specifically, how efficient Are we the use of energy and that includes cooling has is one of the main components over the past few years our PCs for most of our data centers have gone down significantly. So we’ve done like it like a lot of progress and there is a lot of more progress to be to be made in in that in that area.
Belén Gallego 42:35
Thank you very much. I mean, I don’t know I’m not really sure. Do you want to add anything john? No, I suppose calling also unless you have knowledge.
Unknown Speaker 42:47
I don’t have much knowledge.
Belén Gallego 42:50
It is one of those things, isn’t it because what we do is we like just like the electricity and but there is better ways to do it. And you know what is needed? Particularly that you know, in the UAE in those areas, there are like what A lot of that kind of stuff. Alright, so I am going through the questions here. And there was one that I wanted to ask Renata and find it. So just one second. Okay. There was one about you saying that you want to remove all this carbon footprints, you know, like this announcement, this large announcement that was made from the beginning of Microsoft, which I think is really courageous. Luckily, also, Microsoft is not a very carbon intensive company, you know, if you were a cement producer, it would be a very different thing. But the question is, is are you guys looking into any carbon reduction technologies or carbon capturing technologies, you know, anything like that, or is just maybe over investing in renewables in order to remove more of that the fossil fuel power,
Unknown Speaker 43:43
so part of the answer to removing carbon from the grid is is renewables. The other the other part of it is as part of come into the lens a little bit more, um, the other the other part of it is As part of as part of our carbon announcement, last month, we also announced a $1 billion Climate Fund. And so that Climate Fund is debt will be dedicated to funding research or technologies, r&d and technologies that that have the potential to reduce carbon. So we obviously have technologies in mind like carbon capture and things like that. But we’ll be looking at those on a case by case basis through and investing in those THROUGH THROUGH THROUGH THROUGH our investment fund.
Belén Gallego 44:39
Actually, there’s a person here that asks, If I’m mistaken to supply 100 megawatt data centers with hundred percent renewable energy and energy storage would in the Giga, what our range would be needed. So you would need like, you know, storage on the gigawatt hour range, which is not really available today. You think this could be handled by batteries. He’s asking about, you know, your roles, like your milestones and whether you can actually do things you can actually do it with current technology.
Unknown Speaker 45:08
So it’s the question is the question whether we can like take our data center offline? And just have to?
Unknown Speaker 45:17
Yes, yes. That’s the gist of it. Yes.
Unknown Speaker 45:21
Yeah. So we are looking at we are looking at energy storage, backup systems. But I don’t think our intention would be to completely be able to take the data center offline. The, I mean, the grid itself provides is a valuable resource. And for us to develop data center that’s completely able to unplug from the grid. I think, like I said, like we think of ourselves as citizens of the energy value chain and for us to just kind of operate in isolation is kind of goes against that.
Belén Gallego 45:53
Yeah, so one of the questions the other questions is, are you looking at the centralized, being decentralized or to set Real Life, the process of energy generation. So we were like, so many, like, for example, would you be a player in the actually energy distribution, or transmission would regenerate in one place and carry two other data centers? Or would you just generate in each of the places where you have your data centers?
Unknown Speaker 46:22
Were the way we would do it today. And will, I think keep doing it is we do not need to generate in the same location where we’re located in exactly the same location. Of course, we want to be as close as possible to to a good source of our generation in that needs the least amount of new transmission lines with distribution lines, but we do not. It’s impossible for all of our data centers to be just right next to a hydro plant or whatever that is, nuclear plant. Whatever that is,
Belén Gallego 47:01
they’re called the virtual virtual BBA is essentially where, you know, there’s been an exchange of energy understood. Okay, there’s one question for you here calling is if I find it, I’m going up and down because we have 18 opening questions and people keep on sending more. Do Woods wind energy projections include the accelerating expansion of the US offshore wind power?
Unknown Speaker 47:24
So great question. No, they do not. Us offshore wind power is going to grow quite dramatically over the next several years. It is offer wind power isn’t something that’s been tapped into directly, yes by corporate and industrial companies for direct procurement. So from that standpoint, I looked at that as the analysis I showed you earlier, but if we’re talking, you know, from a national standpoint, or an international standpoint about how renewables including offshore wind will be growing and supplying companies like Microsoft, absolutely, that will be included. Opera wind is something that is, in many respects very difficult if especially in places like for a classic example, California where, right off the California coast, it gets very deep very quickly. So the ability to actually build a wind turbine that is rooted in the sea that is quite difficult. The technology is to do that it’s simply called a floating wind turbine where you’re anchored by tethers the seabed way down below but the bulk of the system is actually a floating platform. As more and more the systems get developed, and we see the cost come down, we’re going to see it become more and more accessible to more and more regions of the world and we’ll see offshore wind growth right tremendously
Belén Gallego 48:46
excited these one question wants to know Maddie and doing what storage technologies as you considering for data centers. So what kinds of technologies however you want to answer that
Unknown Speaker 49:03
Um, so I, I can’t really speak to this because I’m not the right person. But I do believe we’re looking at like a number of like lithium ion and other types of energy storage technologies.
Belén Gallego 49:18
Fantastic. I can imagine there is a very technical questions, you know, have people like clicking the numbers going, how many hours do we need, you know, what are we doing in this day? You know, like, I almost every time you consider a different data center, you would have to like run a different mobile. So it’s very hard question to answer, but I’m sure you know, there is like a number of these looking at what Bill Gates, you know, invested on in terms of storage technologies. He has money in a lot of different ventures, you know, all the ranges of the technologies, but also at different levels of the development. So I imagine he goes around the same way.
Unknown Speaker 49:51
I mean, that’s, that’s the way we look at technology as well. We don’t we’re not going to pick a specific technology. We’re looking at things on a case by case basis. And like with a virtual PPA, Microsoft is taking a position in a long term position and an energy market and we’re left with that position. So we’re looking at everything on a case by case basis in terms of how much it’ll cost how much risk it presents to the company better.
Belén Gallego 50:20
Thank you very much. Okay, let me ask you just one last question and then calling take a look if you see any questions as you’d like to answer then you could go for it because there’s so many open you know, every time I close one there is an open open so and it’s like what is like at present the total installed capacity that you have to know you know, considering all of your data centers.
Unknown Speaker 50:43
We’ve announced a just under two gigawatts in our Portland
Belén Gallego 50:49
because a lot more to come. I’m sure in the next few years, you guys are going to be very busy recruiting a lot of new energy.
Unknown Speaker 50:55
We’re definitely accelerating our pace.
Belén Gallego 50:59
Yeah, I think This is just a, you know, my own personal evaluation that is good that technology companies, you know that taking the sort of position and because they’re kicking renewables, that utilities into gear into, you know, innovates or otherwise suffer the consequences was good because I think in a perfect working market where you did it is good providing that service, you wouldn’t have to do it, but you have to do it because it’s not there. So it’s good that, you know, companies like Microsoft have taken the lead and say, We’re going down this route and given this clearly clear signals to the markets. So we all know, you know, what’s going on, I think, you know, you guys can hear my side, you know, I’m really happy to hear it is markets like the US that are really quite competitive. And then there are other markets, you know, like, I’m not gonna name names, actually, you know, platforms where you know, where I’m just wishing for those ppas to come through because I’m like, you know, certain utilities need to be told if you don’t apply again, you’re going to be out before you know it, you know, 10 years, you’re irrelevant. So anyway, just wanted to say my business you guys know that Colin, do you take a look at the questions that you want to answer one specifically or simple, you
Unknown Speaker 52:07
know, I kind of was mortise and tenon listening to the gentleman Maria but um, you know, there’s there’s any other questions that you can pick up? I’m happy to chime in as well. I know, it’s certainly been a lot of topics we could dive in, we could spend hours chatting about here today.
Belén Gallego 52:22
Let’s talk about just one more thing. I love talking about this, by the way, you know, like, like people by friends and like sick of hearing me talk about it. But one of the things that I wanted to I know you guys started in the US and it’s good for that, because it makes things a lot easier you have is just the regular well, depends where the US is where but later regulations are a lot more. They have a lot more area for innovation say was you know, in Europe, we have a lot more like structure. I mean, I’m sure you guys suffer this all the time. But I suppose what my next question would be like, Okay, what markets are you in now? What am I gonna say next and which are next in terms of in terms of procurement at this sort of renewables And I’m talking about international markets, actually, I think honestly would have told you now is no mystery to anyone that is attending this webinar. You know, we’re all wishing for the push, you know, for the private procurement, because otherwise utility company companies are way too comfy, you know, and protected by the government. So is can you tell us about your markets essentially?
Unknown Speaker 53:23
Yeah, if you, if you just look at the as your regions map for Microsoft, those are all the regions that we’re interested in. And we’re probably interested in regions beyond what’s on that map. So I really can’t think of any countries that were not interested in. Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 53:42
yeah. But you you’re making a really good point. So as you mentioned, a lot of the mobile work that we’ve done has been in the US and in Europe as well. In that has to do a lot with with where our loads are, and our biggest pressure Is, but that changing considerably not only for Microsoft but for all technology companies. So going forward, we expect to see like a lot more developments in South America, Africa, we already have one region over there, Asia, it’s gonna become like more it’s growing that significantly as well. So I would say that the EC markets are already kind of in the in the picture from both Asher and renewables and now we’re going to start moving towards the most developing countries or less developed energy market. So
Belén Gallego 54:45
if the GDPR is anything is like the the protection the data protection law here in Europe is anything to go by you know, is very what is happening now and the European Union usually is the first one there France but there is a lot of copy, paste and go going on with the sort of loss where they say no, today, the centers with the data for my people, you have them on my territory. And the minute that that happens, your job becomes like a lot more complicated. And you are required with other countries where they can’t even potentially, you know, security, you have the access to that energy. So definitely, you’re gonna have to do this sort of thing. I think we’re pretty much out of time, I just like to thank you very much for me, this is, as I said, you know, a very fascinating topic, something that I’ve been following for a long time. And calling since your numbers, you know, amazing and great to see all that intelligence and all that analysis going in their case of Jonathan and Maria, you know, thank you very much for your work, and please keep keep them coming. You know, I mean, I think the energy industry does need that sort of push, you know, or renewable energy should I say, in order for us to be able to advance because he’s just not enough. You know, at the moment going by Idina in the IAEA and everyone professionals, we
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