Over the next two years, United States based search engine giant Google will make investments of 3 billion euros (3.3 billion U.S. dollars) toward expansion of its data centers in Europe, said the company’s CEO Sundar Pichai on Friday at Helsinki.
About 15 billion euros has been invested in Europe by Google since 2007, Pichai informed.
One of the data centres of Google in Europe is located at Hamina, southeastern Finland and was constructed on a plot of land in 2009 that had been vacated by a former paper plant called Stora-Enso.
An additional investment of 600 million euros in Hamina was announced by Pichai at a joint press conference with Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne. This new investment will take the total investment made by the company in that facility to 2 billion euros.
The data center at Hamina is a model for all the other Google data centers in terms of efficiency and sustainability, Pichai said. He also added that the concept of implementation of “smart regulation” in global frameworks to regulate the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies is welcomed by Google.
He said that it would be possible to innovate while tackling specific problems by the use of such “smart regulation”, he said. “AI is a diverse set of technologies and many different applications. And it is developed in partnerships between government and business,” he added.
Meeting and discussion with the incoming leaders of the European Union is being eagerly anticipates by Google, Pichain said.
Plans for assistance for retaining the number of people working in the digital economy in Europe was also announced by him. Retraining assistance schemes in the Nordic states, the Netherlands and Belgium, will be arranged by the trade unions on the basis of a 2-billion-euro grant. The central Organization of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK) will be the organizer in Finland.
The vision of a carbon-free future presented by Finland as president of the European Council was also shared by Google, said Pichai. He further informed that the biggest ever purchase of renewable energy was made earlier in the week by Google. “Nearly half of the new megawatts produced will be in Europe,” he said.
Investments in two wind energy projects in Sweden, five solar energy projects in Denmark and a new offshore wind project in Belgium has been made by Google. Pichai said that company is sticking to its pledge of making investments in two wind energy projects in Finland that would have a combined capacity to generate 250 megawatts of electricity. The company’s renewable energy capacity in the country will be more than doubled by this, Pichain said.
Investment in this green energy and its usage will mean that almost all of the energy consumed by Google’s activities in Finland will now be compensated by local carbon-free operations even after the new investments.
(Adapted from XinhuaNet.com)