Clean Energy

Many of our customers seek to power their data centers with renewable energy generated by power plants that are fueled by resources such as hydro, wind, solar and biomass. We work with project developers, energy producers and utility companies to create solutions that meet the clean energy objectives of our clients. Since 2014, we have more than doubled the renewables in our fuel mix. Across our portfolio in 2016 we procured nearly 40% of our electricity from renewable sources such as wind, solar and hydro power plants. The U.S. EPA has recognized our efforts on this front, listing Digital Realty as one of the 12 largest buyers of renewable energy on their national Top 100 list.

Key initiatives include:

ProgramScopeGoalPerformance
Clean Start℠ ProgramProcure renewable energy credits on behalf of customers that sign eligible new leasesEnroll 100% of eligible new customersAchieved 100% enrollment target; procured 322,000 MWh of renewable energy credits in 2016
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 in 2016
Clean Power Sourcing InitiativeSource clean energy through site-level power supplyIncrease quantity of site-level clean energy sourced across the portfolio year over yearProcured 508,000 MWh of renewable energy over and above utility-supplied electricity in 2016

Digital Realty recently completed a successful year under the Clean Start Program, procuring 322,000 megawatt hours of renewable energy on behalf of eligible customers. The Clean Start Program, 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 program have an impact similar to taking 47,800 cars off the road for one year or providing enough energy to meet the yearly energy needs of 23,900 U.S. homes.

In 2016, we committed to purchase renewable wind power from a utility-scale project in Texas. With this transaction, we began supplying 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


201420152016Change (2016 vs 2014)
Energy (million MWh²)2.633.283.7342%
Electricity (million MWh²)2.523.103.5340%
Renewables (million MWh²)0.670.771.38107%
Renewable Fuel Mix (incl large hydro)26.5%24.7%39.3%48%
mTCO2e³ (x million)0.991.251.067%
CO2e intensity (mTCO2e/MWh)0.380.390.28-24%
Fuel Mix
Renewables22.3%20.3%34.8%56%
Large Hydro4.2%4.4%4.5%7.1%
Natural Gas27.7%29.2%23.7%-14.4%
Coal21.8%22.5%17.7%-18.8%
Nuclear18.0%17.9%14.9%-17.2%
Oil0.3%0.3%0.3%0%
Other/Unknown5.7%5.3%4.3%-24.6%

¹ Percentages may not equal 100 due to rounding.

² MWh = megawatt-hours

³ mmTCO2e = million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent