Clean Energy

Clean energy is generated by power plants that are fuelled by renewable resources such as hydro, wind, solar and biomass. Many of our customers seek to power their data centres with renewable energy. We work with energy producers and utility companies to create solutions that meet the clean energy objectives of our clients.

Key initiatives include:

ProgrammeScopeGoalPerformance
Clean Start℠ ProgrammeProcure renewable energy credits on behalf of customers that sign eligible new leasesEnroll 100% of eligible new customersAchieved 100% enrollment target; procured 100,000 MWh of renewable energy credits in 2015
Colocation and Interconnectivity Business Clean Energy SolutionSource long-term utility-scale clean energy supplyOffset 100% of Colocation and Interconnectivity Business electricity footprintSourced utility-scale renewable energy project to meet 100% of current U.S. Colocation and Interconnectivity business electricity footprint
Clean Power Sourcing InitiativeSource clean energy through site-level power contractsIncrease quantity of site-level clean energy sourced across the portfolio year over yearIncreased supply of clean energy by 10% in 2015 compared to 2014

Digital Realty recently completed a successful year under the Clean Start Programme, procuring 100,000 megawatt hours of renewable energy on behalf of eligible customers. The Clean Start Programme, launched in 2015, procures third-party verified renewable energy certificates (RECs) on behalf of participating clients when they sign eligible new leases. After the first year, customers can continue to purchase renewable energy credits through Digital Realty. The environmental benefits from this programme have an impact similar to taking 14,800 cars off the road for one year or providing enough energy to meet the yearly energy needs of 7,400 U.S. homes. 

In 2016, we committed to purchase renewable wind power from a utility-scale project in Texas.  With this transaction, we are able to supply our U.S. Colocation and Interconnectivity Business with 100% renewable energy. This represents a significant step toward increasing the availability of high quality renewable energy across our portfolio.

Energy and Carbon Emissions Performance¹


20142015Year-over-Year Change
Purchases (million MWh²)2.492.89+16.1%
Renewables (million MWh²)0.5490.607+10%
Renewable %22%21%-1%
mmTCO2e³1.001.12+11.6%
CO2e intensity (Lb. CO2e/kWh)0.890.84-6%
Fuel Mix
Natural Gas31%36%+5%
Coal26%23%-3%
Renewables18%17%-1%
Nuclear19%19%0%
Large Hydro4%4%0%
Oil<1%<1%0%
Other<1%<1%0%

¹ Percentages may not equal 100 due to rounding.

² MWh = megawatt-hours

³ mmTCO2e = million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent