Data centers and mobile telecommunications networks use more than 623 billion kilowatt hours of electricity annually, and a 2008 study found that the information technology (IT) sector represented 2 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
If the industry were a country, it would rank fifth in the world in terms of electricity demand. In addition, all but one of the U.S.'s major IT companies still rely on fossil fuels to power more than half of their cloud operations, according to a new Greenpeace report.
"Data centers and the cloud would be an environmental win if we build them in the right way, and connect them in the right way," says Greenpeace's Gary Cook. “If we just connect them to traditional sources of fossil fuel energy, that becomes a real train wreck.”
IT firms continue to grow as important customers for the U.S.'s utility companies. As this growth continues, IT firms are positioning themselves to lobby politicians and company executives to boost renewable energy supplies. Some IT companies are already using this leverage by choosing to have data centers near renewable sources, investing directly in renewable energy, or pushing for legislative changes on the state level.
From Washington Post
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