Do you know how much energy your datacenter uses?

Google LogoGoogle has recently revealed a closely guarded secret: How much electricity its datacenters use. In fact, Google has revealed that their entire operation:

  • Generated 1.46 million metric tons of carbon dioxide and consumed a total of 2,259,998 MWh in 2010.
  • Continuously uses enough electricity to power as many as 200,000 homes.
  • Continuously draws nearly 260 million watts, or roughly a quarter of a nuclear power plant’s output, with about 12.5 million watts going to power more than a billion searches a day.
  • Drew 25% of its energy from renewable fuels in 2010 and this figure should reach the 30% level this year and 35% next year.
  • Uses less than 1% of the total amount of electricity used by datacenters globally, which in turn accounts for 1.3% of total worldwide electricity usage.

It’s worth noting that Google had received some flak from environmentalists and Greenpeace in particular – who previously gave the company an “F” for transparency on its Cool IT leaderboard. On the other hand and as the New York Times recently noted, some analysts had speculated that Google did not want to reveal information about electricity usage because it was embarrassing or it might allow competitors to decode just how efficient (and big) the company’s datacentre operations are.

Nevertheless, Google’s disclosures about electricity usage could put pressure on other IT companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Yahoo to reveal just how much electricity their datacentres are using along with the amount of carbon they produce.

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