Hyderabad: Next time you use your favourite apps, think for a minute about the form of energy it uses, whether it is renewable or non-renewable energy. Every application, be it YouTube, Facebook, Google, Instagram or Twitter, through its data centres, consumes huge amounts of electricity to power and then cool down their servers. Eventually, they emit a significant amount of carbon dioxide and thereby damage the environment.
Ever since smart phones have penetrated our lives, every application we use our phones for, such as doing a Google search, or uploading a photo on Facebook, or even typing a word on the internet involves interaction with the servers. Servers are a part of the data centres, which are scattered across the globe, with some even in Hyderabad.
Even passively scrolling through pages involves interaction with the servers. While the world discusses data being stolen or misused, it is imperative to understand that data are stored in servers, which are hosted in data centres. In the same way that our computers and laptops generate huge amounts of heat, likewise the servers in the data centres too generate tremendous amounts of heat, as they run around the clock. These need to be cooled, in turn, which means that coolants are used. This adds to the carbon footprint which has been increasing manifold year after year, as many users are being on boarded on to the internet.
They consume as much as 2 percent of the world’s electricity and generate 3 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions. According to a 2017 Greenpeace report on "the race to build a green internet", if the global IT industry were a country, only China and the United States would contribute more to climate change than the IT sector.
Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and other latest technologies are only going to increase the data consumption and ultimately, increase the number of servers and expand the size of the data centres. Since there is no going back on technology, companies are shifting towards renewable sources of energy, because hurting the environment is certainly not good for their portfolio....