The hidden energy behind the internet - data centres

Tens of thousands of data centers now exist to support the vast amount of data sent over the internet every day. Although e-books and websites are often considered an environmentally friendly alternative to the printing industry, the data centres necessary for them to work consume vast amounts of energy. To ensure fast loading times, online companies typically run their server facilities at maximum capacity around the clock, whatever the demand. As a result, data centres can waste 90% or more of the electricity they pull off the grid, with most of the electricity consumed to keep servers idling and ready in case of a surge in activity. They also often rely on back up banks of high-pollution diesel generators to guard against power failure.

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