Online networking guzzles energy

Facebook>> Energy USE • USA

Published: Tuesday 14 September 2010

imageFacebook is under pressure to shift to renewable energy.

In one of the web’s fastest growing environmental campaigns, Greenpeace International says at least 500,000 people have protested the social networking site’s intention to run its new data centre on coal-generated electric power.

The site announced in February this year it planned to build what is touted to be the world’s largest centralised data storage centre in Portland, Oregon. It will include some of the world’s most energy-efficient computers.

Facebook has not said how much electricity it uses to stream video, store information and connect its 500m users. Industry estimates suggest that at their present rate of growth, all the data centres and telecommunication networks in the world will consume about 1,963 billion kilowatt hours of electricity by 2020. That is more electricity than used by France, Germany, Canada and Brazil combined.

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