Power-devouring data centers are hungry for clean energy
- Cloud computing is driving the need for more energy-hogging data centers.
- Companies in the space are pushing for greener sources of energy such as solar, wind and hydroelectric power, according to The New York Times.
- While demand for energy from almost all other sources in its coverage area stayed flat last year, demand from data centers grew 9%, according to Dominion Virginia Power. The company provides electricity to many northern Virginia data centers.
It’s no secret that the typical data center is not exactly "green." As The New York Times puts it, most data centers, by design, "consume vast amounts of energy in an incongruously wasteful manner."
Sustainable data centers are therefore a growing concern for tech companies. In January, Facebook announced a new Irish data center that will focus on energy efficiency, and Amazon Web Services has committed to obtaining 100% of its power from renewable sources. Meanwhile, Microsoft announced it was bringing on a director for datacenter sustainability, a newly created role designed to focus on making Microsoft's growing network of data centers more sustainable with a decreased environmental impact.
As data centers make up a bigger portion of energy users, it’s possible tech companies’ push for renewable energy could stimulate lasting change in the energy sector.