Microsoft and Brookfield partner on ‘largest investment of its kind’ to power data centres using renewables

Tech giant Microsoft has made a deal with Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management to invest over $10 billion to advance the renewable energy capacity that will power artificial intelligence and data centres, following a huge uptake in demand. This follows the statement that Microsoft pledges to have 100% of its electricity matched by zero-carbon energy purchases by the end of the decade.

The companies have said that they will develop new wind and solar farms, attempting to generate over 10.5 gigawatts of new renewable energy capacity between 2026 and 2030 across the US and Europe. This capacity is 3 times larger than the 3.5 gigawatts of electricity consumed by data centres in Northern Virginia, which is the largest data centre market in the world. They describe the deal as the largest single electricity purchase agreement signed between two corporate partners, up to 8 times larger than any previous agreement.

The breadth of this agreement could eventually expand to include additional energy capacity in not only the US and Europe, but also in Asia, Latin American and India.

After a decade of flat growth, total electricity consumption in the US is predicted to rise by 20% by the end of the decade, according to an April Wells Fargo research note. The US faces this rapid increase in demand for electricity as the onset of AI coincides with the expansion of battery and semiconductor manufacturing, as well as the electrification of the nation’s vehicle fleet.

Exploring new renewable projects will be crucial in facilitating this rapid increase in demand for global electricity. With several countries and companies pledging a net zero target in the coming decades, it’s the perfect time to study our Net Zero Consultant Expert Certificate pathway and advance your career. Enrol now or call us on +44 (0)131 446 9479 to speak to a friendly course advisor.

Sources

https://www.reuters.com/sustainability/climate-energy/microsoft-power-data-centers-with-brookfield-renewables-deal-ft-says-2024-05-01

https://www.cnbc.com/2024/05/01/microsoft-brookfield-to-develop-more-than-10point5-gigawatts-of-renewable-energy.html

https://www.datacenterdynamics.com/en/news/microsoft-signs-10bn-10gw-energy-framework-deal-with-brookfield