Time to clean your 'cloud'

Tuesday, 17 April 2012 18:30 administrator

A new report evaluates 14 global IT companies on their energy choices for cloud computing.


New Delhi / San Francisco. The current explosion in cloud computing offered by major IT companies is driving significant new demand for dirty energy like coal and nuclear power, according to a new report from Greenpeace International.

The report, “How Clean is Your Cloud?,” shows a growing split within the tech industry between companies that are taking steps to power their cloud computing infrastructures with clean energy, like Google, Yahoo and Facebook, and companies like Apple, Amazon and Microsoft who lag behind by choosing to build their growing fleets of data centres to be powered by coal and nuclear energy.  

The report evaluates 14 major IT companies and their electricity supply chains of over 80 data centres based on key elements needed to build a clean cloud computing infrastructure.

As more people around the world use the cloud to store and share photos, videos, and documents, IT companies have to build more data centres–buildings so large they are often visible from space – that house thousands of computers and consume tremendous amounts of electricity. Some of these data centers consume the equivalent of nearly 180,000 US homes or close to 1.8 million Indian homes.

Companies like Google, Yahoo and Facebook are beginning to lead the sector down a clean energy pathway through innovations in energy efficiency, prioritising renewable energy access when siting their data centres, and demanding better energy options from utilities and government decision-makers.

Greenpeace International is calling on all IT companies with cloud services to:

Cloud computing is a way of storing and sharing data on the Internet. It allows users to share photos, music, documents, etc, on the Internet instead of a local computer.