By Julie Mandoyan | April 19, 2012 - 11:00 GMT
Comparing data centers powering the virtual “cloud” to the “factories of the 21st century”, Greenpeace, in a report released yesterday (17 March), urged multinational technology firms such as Apple, Microsoft and Amazon to obtain the energy used to run data storage facilities from clean, renewable sources.
Launching a new campaign titled “Clean Up the Dirtiest Thing on the Internet”, Greenpeace called upon technology consumers to pressure the three companies to rethink their “dirty” data storage approach. The environmental watchdog noted that in spite of existing and available technologies, organizations often prioritized a rapid expansion of data centers over identifying clean energy alternatives. Though singling out Apple, Microsoft and Amazon for criticism, Greenpeace did praise rival technology giants Facebook, Google and Yahoo for their commitment to “supporting policies to drive greater renewable energy investment”.
Highlighting the scale of the issue, Greenpeace claimed that if the “cloud” were a country, it would rank fifth globally in total electricity consumption, with demand expected to triple by 2020. On a facility-by-facility basis, the individual energy consumption of some data storage centers can equate to that of 180,000 homes.
(Photo © Greenpeace)
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