In July 2020, we announced our goal to eliminate our dependence on diesel fuel for backup power in our datacenters by 2030. This is in addition to our commitment to having a 100 percent supply of renewable energy procured for our datacenter operations by 2025. Reliable backup power is essential to our customer promise—delivering highly available, reliable, and scalable cloud services. Many critical industries, governments, and institutions depend on the Microsoft cloud to support essential operations, even when events such as extreme weather interrupt the primary energy supply.
Generators at datacenters, most often powered by petroleum-based diesel, play a key role in delivering reliable backup power. Each of these generators is used for no more than a few hours a year or less at our datacenter sites, most often for routine maintenance or for backup power during a grid outage. Diesel fuel accounts for less than 1 percent of Microsoft’s overall emissions, but finding solutions to reduce reliance on traditional diesel fuels represents a substantial contribution to the technology pathways necessary for deep decarbonization. The most immediate opportunity to reduce the use of traditional diesel fuels is to validate and implement alternative, lower-carbon fuel sources for our generators.