The Internet. Where do we start?
We have this website. You are reading it. So, somewhere, there is a server, workstation and networking equipment all taking the strain, and hurting the planet. We have to balance that, which is the reasoning behind setting up Greenscroll in the first place.
Just running the Internet uses up massive amounts of “brown” electricity; polluting non-renewable sources of power that get directed into keeping the technology running so we can all conduct our online activities. We’d like to address that by encouraging green advocates to help Greenscroll invest into renewable energy projects like wind and solar farms.
A study by Rich Brown, an energy analyst commissioned by the U.S. environmental protection agency, suggested that U.S. data centres used 61bn kilowatt hours of energy in 2006. To put it in perspective, that is enough energy to supply the whole of the U.K. for two months, and 1.5 per cent of the entire electricity usage of the U.S.
Bill St. Arnaud, Director of CANARIE, a non-profit organization, says that, “The internet is the fastest growing source of CO2 to the atmosphere … it doubled from 2002 to 2006.”
According to him, personal computers account for 50 per cent of the Internet’s energy consumption, while server farms are responsible for the other half.
Resources and additional information:
Web providers must limit Internet’s carbon footprint, say experts
Server farms vs. your desktop PC – The Internet’s carbon footprint
Data centre gets serious about using less energy