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Cloud Services Turning to Renewable Energy

JackSawyer MA, United States 0 Ratings 11 Discussions 8 Group posts

Posted by: JackSawyer // Student

The cloud - a service many of us use to extend our phone's and computer's storage by uploading information to remote servers - consume a lot of electricity to stay operational. In fact, in 2013 data centers used 2 percent of all the power produced in the U.S.. This electricity is the largest expense for cloud services, and subsequently, they are looking to mitigate this cost with a transition to renewable energy.

With the demand for cloud services continuing to grow, they have began to gain some pull with utility companies, this coupled with their goal to use renewable energy sources, has allowed data centers to influence utility companies into creating more clean energy plants. For example, "In Nevada, a data company was able to convince the utility NV Energy to build new renewable capacity for its project. In Virginia, Microsoft has negotiated an agreement for a new solar farm" (Joyce). These cloud companies provide an excellent example of effective corporate social responsibility (CSR). The companies know their data centers are consuming a lot of energy and are taking responsibility for it in a way that protects the environment and helps generate new business in the green sector.

As renewable energies have reached prices competitive with coal, the companies benefit from investing in clean energy because they are able to save money and have a sustainable source. Green House Data's communications director, Wendy Fox, explains why this is so imperative, stating that "the electrical resources of the planet are finite, but our need for data seems to be infinite" (Joyce). Each year we are creating and consuming more and more data, and with the internet of things on the verge of breaking onto the mass market, that data will most like increase exponentially. By addressing this issue now, cloud services will be able to build up an energy infrastructure that is sustainable and, in turn, will avoid any hiccups down the road when our coal sources are exhausted.

What do you think of the cloud industry's push towards sustainable energy? Will it have a significant impact on making renewable energy a more widely used power option?

Joyce, Stephanie. "Making The Cloud Green: Tech Firms Push For Renewable Energy Sources." NPR. NPR, 22 July 2016. Web. 23 July 2016.>.



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