Microsoft has outlined new goals for powering up its datacenters around the world to help conserve energy. The company wants 50% of its datacenters powered by wind, solar or water by the end of 2018.

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Microsoft President Brad Smith outlined the company's new datacenter energy goals:

Across the tech sector we need to recognize that datacenters will rank by the middle of the next decade among the large users of electrical power on the planet. We need to keep working on a sustained basis to build and operate greener datacenters that will serve the world well.

For Microsoft, this means moving beyond datacenters that are already 100 percent carbon neutral to also having those datacenters rely on a larger percentage of wind, solar and hydropower electricity over time. Today roughly 44 percent of the electricity used by our datacenters comes from these sources. Our goal is to pass the 50 percent milestone by the end of 2018, top 60 percent early in the next decade, and then to keep improving from there.

Smith added that Microsoft is looking at other energy sources to power its datacenters, including biogas and fuel cells. Microsoft will also provide an annual report on its energy use, including the different mix of sources for the power that it uses.

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