Q: How many homes can be powered with the same amount of energy used by the average data center?
A: 25,000 (as in Twenty Five THOUSAND)*
Very often people make the mistake of thinking an on line magazine or catalog is somehow “greener” than a printed version. They don’t stop to consider the whole picture…including the tremendous amount of electrical energy used to power the many data centers that not only constantly store this information but also transfer it to the end user.
Indeed, the volume of data being created and stored (yes…I know…including this blog!) on “web server farms” is staggering. By the end of 2011 the US Dept of Energy estimates that the total amount of energy consumed in these server farms in the US will be over 106 BILLION kWh. That is up from 61 kWh in 2006. By contrast, the average home in the US uses about 18,000 kWh per year.
Now…obviously not all that energy is used for on line magazine and catalog storage but it is important to think through sustainable ideas before committing to a marketing plan.
* SOURCE: McKinsey & Company