acm-header
Sign In

Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

Data Centers in Va. and Elsewhere Have Major Carbon Footprint, Report Says


View as: Print Mobile App Share: Send by email Share on reddit Share on StumbleUpon Share on Hacker News Share on Tweeter Share on Facebook
data center

As servers become more powerful, more kilowatts are needed to run and cool them. Data centers worldwide now consume more energy annually than Sweden.

Credit: Simon Norfolk / The New York Times

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
View Full Article

Abstracts Copyright © 2012 Information Inc. External Link, Bethesda, Maryland, USA 

 
 


 

No entries found

Sign In for Full Access
» Forgot Password? » Create an ACM Web Account