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Cloud Computing and Internet ­se Suck Energy, Emit Co2, Says Greenpeace

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Image courtesy of Greenpeace

The Internet would rank fifth in the world in electricity use if it were a country, according to a new report on cloud computing from Greenpeace.

Computer servers in data centers represent about 2% of global energy demand, but their use is growing about 12% a year. Greenpeace says that coal and nuclear energy powers the cloud more than renewable sources such as wind and solar, noting that clusters of data centers are forming in places such as the Midwest, where coal-powered energy is still plentiful and inexpensive.

The report focused on the data center energy use by 10 major tech companies. Yahoo! received some praise for having facilities near clean energy hot spots and using coal-based power for just 18.3% of its portfolio. And Google was lauded for supporting wind and solar projects and creating Google Energy to buy electricity directly from independent renewable power producers.

From The Los Angeles Times
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