The Internet Cloud is Clouded
The internet is power hungry. All operations like search, viewing, reading, mining etc consume huge amounts of power.
In Apr 2019 “Despacito” became the 1st video to hit a billion views on YouTube.
Grim truth- it consumed as much electricity as 40,000 U.S. homes use yearly
Each search, click or streamed video sets many servers to work — a Google search for “Despacito” initiates servers in 8 data centres in the world-devouring energy.
Interesting to observe that Bitcoin mining consumes 0.3% of global power.
The ICT sector is one of the most power-hungry sectors.
The huge shift to ‘the cloud’ means electricity consumption in data centres will keep rising.
Now, data centres consume about 2% of electricity worldwide; it will rise to 8% by 2030.
U.S. data centres expended 70 billion kWh of electricity in 2014, equivalent to 6.4 million homes used. Data centres need electricity for servers, storage, power cooling etc. Servers need temperatures below 80F & cooling is 40% of electricity usage.
Much of that energy used is non-renewable & contributes to carbon emissions. Data centres contribute 0.3% of global carbon emissions
China’s data centres emitted 99 mill tons of CO2 in 2018 & will emit 2/3rds more by 2023.
Consumers can make changes too —streaming Netflix on medium quality rather than high-definition could save over 75% of carbon & water used.
So a smokescreen hides the grim truth.