According to a report from Greenpeace, cloud technology is growing greener given the increasing amount of data centers powered by renewable energy. Greenpeace has been seen as one of the toughest critics of the data center industry and getting a positive response on green technology from the environmental group is something big. The report says that IT industry has significantly improved the use of green energy by cloud platforms. The change is seen from leading cloud service providers as they are giving more importance to adopting renewable resources to power server farms.
Beyond Carbon Credits Offsets
In 2016, Greenpeace predicted that in a couple of years, the IT sector will consume nearly 12% of all electrical use and around 21% of that will come from data centers. The good news is that several IT giants have stepped closer to developing green internet but that would take some more time.
Many cloud organizations are taking on projects to buy renewable resources to support their IT infrastructure directly. There are multiple approaches to carry on and the most standard option is deploying solar panels or wind turbines on their IT infrastructure although it is not the most practical solution. Thus, cloud providers choose an alternative to such as buying ample amount of energy from renewable sources in order to meet the requirements of the clients. This is comparatively better option that carbon credit offsets mainly because it assures that power comes from sustainable sources that from fossil fuels. In fact, such deals promote the development of new renewable power plants to address the requirements of organizations, thus increasing the usage of green energy.
The advantages using green resources are economic as well as environmental. As per Google's report, renewable energy is the most cost-effective form of energy accessible.
Although renewable resources are a great way to reduce carbon footprint and save significant IT cost, cloud service providers can't only be dependent on renewable energy. It is certainly stable in terms of price, but not in terms of availability. Let us put it straight: we can't be sure of that the wind will always blow or the sun will always shine and thus to ensure constant flow of power, fossil fuels seem necessary.
But there's always a viable solution available for all problems. It requires better electrical storage systems to dispose off coal and other fossil fuels from the energy mix. Apart from this, there are several invigorating ideas and surely, we'll see more in the near future. However, Internet giants will have to invest in the renewable energy research as the next administration is less likely to show interest in this. Although tech organizations are pressurizing state regulators and utilities to make it more convenient for clients to purchase clean energy, they need to put in more efforts to make the regulators implement this.