Microsoft has established a partnership with Ecotricity, a retailer of sustainable electricity, to power its data center region in New Zealand (ANZ) with 100% renewable energy that comes from solar, wind, and hydro sources.

The announcement is a step toward Microsoft’s sustainability goals, which include sourcing 100% of the world’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030. However, neither the precise location of the data center nor the launch date have been made public yet.

Microsoft asserts that adopting the Microsoft Azure cloud platform can be up to 93 percent more energy efficient and 98 percent more carbon efficient than on-premise solutions, according to a 2018 research they commissioned WSP, an engineering services business, to conduct.



“This is why Microsoft is so committed to changing the way we power our data centers and would encourage others to do the same… But we also recognize it’s hard to leap straight from today’s power generation model to a completely decarbonized electricity grid. We all need to make a transition, which will involve strategic investments and changes in procurement practices.” said Brett Shoemaker, director of sustainability at Microsoft ANZ.

The study acknowledges that Microsoft’s purchases of renewable energy are included in its claims of carbon efficiency. The cloud platform continues to be 52-79% more effective than on-premise options based just on energy efficiency.

The company has also promised to stop using diesel fuel for backup generators by 2030, and it is presently researching cleaner fuels and the potential for long-lasting batteries.

Moreover, the company also expanded its collaboration with Climeworks, a Swiss company that specializes in carbon dioxide air capture technology, in July to remove 10,000 tons of carbon over the following ten years, or roughly the emissions of 62.5 US citizens.

However, the company’s data centers continue to use a lot of power and water as it advances sustainability initiatives. This month, it was revealed that, contrary to earlier estimates that it would only require 12–20 million, its Dutch data center utilized 84 million liters of drinking water in the previous year. Given this year’s record-breaking heat and extensive drought, these numbers appear destined to increase even further.