Greenpeace urges more data centres to consider renewable energy
Date: April 20th, 2012
The latest Greenpeace report into cloud computing
, called 'How Clean Is Your Cloud?', has called for cloud leaders to take greater responsibility for their data centres' energy efficiency.
The report examined fourteen global IT companies leading the move into the cloud and found changes could be made to the rapidly expanding technology sector.
"The growth and scale of investment in the cloud is truly mind-blowing, with estimates of a 50-fold increase in the amount of digital information by 2020 and nearly half a trillion in investment in the coming year, all to create and feed our desire for ubiquitous access to infinite information from our computers, phones and other mobile devices, instantly," said the report.
Greenpeace found that while data centres were excellent examples of innovation, energy efficiency was not being maximised.
"Despite the tremendous innovation (data centres) contain and the clean energy potential they possess, most IT companies are rapidly expanding without considering how their choice of energy could impact society."
The independent global campaigning organisation urged data centre owners to be mindful in choosing the locations of their facilities too.
"A growing concentration of data centre investments in key locations is having a significant impact on energy demand and how the electricity grid is managed; if such concentrated expansion is allowed to continue, this will make it increasingly difficult to shift these investments and the surrounding community away from dirty sources of electricity."
However, the report also praised the collaboration emerging between cloud leaders in moving toward environmentally friendly data centres; "There are increasing positive signs of collaboration and open source sharing of best practices in both hardware and software design among IT leaders to help accelerate improvement and deployment of energy efficient IT design.
"There have been increasing signs that more IT companies are beginning to take a proactive approach in ensuring their energy demand can be met with available renewable sources of electricity, and will increasingly play a role in shaping our energy future."
Written by Louise Boyd