Canadian Consulting Engineer

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The energy required to power all the world's computers, data storage and communications networks is expected to dou...

November 19, 2008   Canadian Consulting Engineer

The energy required to power all the world’s computers, data storage and communications networks is expected to double by 2020, according to an analysis by McKinsey & Company, reported by WorldWatch Institute. As a result, says Ben Block of Worldwatch in an October 31 online article: “the world’s growing reliance on the Internet is leading to a rapid increase in greenhouse gas emissions.”

The amount of electricity required for computer servers doubled between 2000 and 2005 according to another study by Stanford University. Block blames the rise partly on increased internet use in China and India where so much electricity is generated by coal-fired power plants.

Block notes that technology emissions will be reduced by new energy efficiency measures such as server consolidation, advanced cooling systems for data centres, and software that cuts servers’ energy use when demand is low.

Computers are now responsible for 2% of global emissions, equivalent to the C02 emissions from half a billion vehicles.

 

 


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