Energy Consumption of the Internet – Technological and Environmental Benefits of Green Web Hosting

People have been using the internet for a long time now but are they aware of how much energy that one click of the mouse consumes? Maybe not. The internet is a reliable source of information and a faster way of communication that people use for personal and/or business reasons. It is a technology that people cannot do without, making online companies run their facilities 24/7 to address the demand for services. This resulted to data centers wasting 90 percent or more of the electricity they draw from the grid.

To ensure that they can continue their operation in times of power failures, these data centers use banks of generators that release diesel exhaust. Authorities have been citing data centers as top violators of clean air regulations because of the carbon dioxide they emitted into the air.

According to the estimates that industry experts collected for The Times, digital warehouses utilize nearly 30 billion watts of electricity which is almost equivalent to the yield of 30 nuclear plants worldwide. The estimates reveal that data centers located in the United States take up 1/4 to 1/3 of that load. One data center can consume more energy than an average-size town.

Estimating the energy consumption of the Internet includes the embodied energy of devices connected to the Internet like the servers, wires, cables, desktops, e-readers, laptops, and smart phones. A reasonable estimate was devised by two researchers from University of California, Berkeley, Barath Raghavan and Justin Ma.

The team’s study titled “The Energy and Emergy of the Internet” concludes that the Internet uses energy that ranges between 170 to 307 GW – equal to 1.1% to 1.9% of the 16TW consumed by people globally, and 53% of the total is embodied power.The team’s estimates show that Internet only uses less than 2% of the total energy used worldwide while transportation accounts for a more considerable amount.

Greenpeace has been urging the IT industry to shift to improving the power consumption of the data centers and its servers and using renewable energy to run the data centers. It also boosts the use in virtual meetings and communication of the Internet to reduce the frequency of travel that produce CO2 pollution.

One way of reducing CO2 pollution is moving from traditional web hosting to green web hosting. Traditional web-hosting companies use 100% of electricity drawn up directly from the grid while green web hosting companies use 100% of energy taken from a sustainable energy source the solar or wind power.

The use of sustainable energy source in web hosting reduces the consumption of energy from deteriorating and more costly electrical grid. Higher quality of service can be enjoyed by the client of a green web hosting company because of this type of energy efficiency. Other benefits that a person or business can gain in resorting to green web hosting are:

  • You can draw more and more customers who are environment-conscious.
  • You can save a lot on the operating cost since you will only need a little funding to achieve the tasks.

Shifting to green web hosting is a great move to save on your energy consumption and in shaping a trademark that will benefit you or your organization in many ways. Just be wise in choosing your green web hosting provider.


Credit Romeo Demes on Google+

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