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Podcast / Audio

The Googlization of Electricity

image credit: Martin Rosenberg

In 2019 Google announced it was purchasing $2 billion worth of wind and solar energy to ensure the company is 100% renewable. Now the company is out with a new goal – carbon-free 24x7. In this episode of Grid Talk, we hear from Raiford Smith who is Google’s lead for Energy, Analytics, and Markets.

Mr. Smith explains the difference between 100% renewable and carbon-free 24x7.

“We now want to have carbon-free energy every hour of every day everywhere at all times by 2030… not just to do it on the annualized global basis but now, to actually get down into the details and do it at every data center everywhere we consume energy every hour,” Smith told Grid Talk.

Mr. Smith discusses the challenges of the company’s new goal, how it could transform the energy market, and what it will take to make it happen.

“It requires investments and innovations in those four areas: analytics, technology, the regulatory end, and commercial solutions.”

Raiford Smith leads the teams responsible for energy strategy, energy supply, utility interconnections, renewable energy, regulatory engagement, economic development, and energy hedging for Google’s global fleet of data centers. Mr. Smith joined Google in 2019 after a 29-year career in energy and utilities, including executive positions overseeing complex, cross-functional transformation efforts. 

Mr. Smith earned a Bachelor of Science in computer science from the University of Georgia, a Master of Business Administration from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia, and a Juris Doctor from the Charlotte School of Law.

Grid Talk is a podcast featuring the leaders and innovators shaping the 21st century grid. Hear the stories—in their own words—of how they are meeting the challenges and transitioning their businesses to operate successfully in a new era of evolving markets, changing regulations, higher customer expectation, increasing cybersecurity threats, demands for cleaner energy sources, growing customer-owned generations and emerging technology. The podcast is part of Department of Energy’s Voices of Experience, an initiative that supports grid modernization by sharing insights, lessons learned and advice on operating in a rapidly evolving industry.

About the Host

Grid Talk is hosted by award winning, energy journalist Marty Rosenberg. For nearly 40 years, Marty has been covering business, energy, finance, and technology. He was the Editor-in-Chief for EnergyBiz from 2004 to 2014. EnergyBiz was an award-winning national publication covering energy and utilities. Marty has been published in multiple media outlets including the New York Times, Huffington Post and USA Today. Marty plugs into the industry knowledge base to deliver critical information about the opportunities and challenges facing utilities today. The result is engaging conversations about modernizing our electric grid.

For more episodes - https://www.smartgrid.gov/gridtalk/

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