Computer design and server farm location could dramatically reduce the energy required to run Facebook and the rest of the Internet, reducing greenhouse gases, too
More than 750 million users, 532 million kilowatt-hours of energy consumption and the attendant 285,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide: those are Facebook’s numbers for 2011.
That means, as the social networking company wrote in an August 1 Facebook post (naturally) releasing the data on energy use, that “one person’s Facebook use for all of 2011 had roughly the same carbon footprint as one medium latte. Or three large bananas. Or a couple of glasses of wine.” That’s 269 grams of CO2 per “active user,” and another invisible impact of the computing cloud.
But that cloud has a very tangible physical impact. Although the individual number may sound small, when added up, Facebook’s—and the world’s—use of row after row of computer servers stored on racks in massive, refrigerated, windowless warehouses in places like Prineville, Ore., and Forest City, N.C., consumes a growing share of the globe’s energy. For example, to keep Amazon ever ready to take an order, rack after rack of computers in a data center are chilled below 21 degrees Celsius. There are now more than 500,000 data centers worldwide, hosting the bulk of the more than 32 million individual servers. Server farms, according to data center expert Jonathan Koomey of Stanford University, now account for roughly 1.5 percent of global electricity use, or about 300 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. Google’s data centers, for example, dwarf Facebook’s, using two billion kilowatt-hours per year as the world searches for the latest article on server energy use.
That makes the Internet a larger emitter of greenhouse gases—230 million metric tons—than all the countries of Scandinavia put together.
via Scientific American – David Biello
The Latest Streaming News: Growing Energy Use of the Internet updated minute-by-minute
Bookmark this page and come back often