Internet Powered by 100% Renewable Energy: Step One

servers, hostingThe internet is so ubiquitous most people don’t even think about it. It surrounds us. (Like the Matrix.) We need to take a minute and think about it though.

It’s comprised of a network of servers in data centers around the world filled with hundreds and even hundreds of thousands of servers. Each running at full capacity 24/7. Why? So anyone, anywhere in the world can access your website whenever they want. Can you hear them slurping up energy now?

Google alone has eight server farms with hundreds of thousands of servers – take a gander at these photos. Their server farms are so big they give their engineers bicycles to get around. Google said it used used 2.26m megawatt hours of power in 2010. Had its demand for power been spread evenly over the year, that would have amounted to a constant supply of 258 megawatts, or about half the output of an average power plant. And, more shockingly, Google also revealed its carbon footprint for the first time, putting its output of carbon dioxide in 2010 at 1.46m tonnes.

See why it’s important to start to move toward servers powered by renewable energy?

Renewable Energy Credits or On-Site Renewable Energy?

A number of web hosting companies say they are powered by 100% wind power or 100% solar energy, but what that means, in most instances, is that they are buying renewable energy credits (RECs) from their local power company. Renewable energy credits are a way to support renewable energy and reduce the need for conventional electricity generation. The power company pools energy generated by natural gas, coal and renewable sources. Third parties track RECs renewable energy generation and give companies the legal title to the environmental benefits of renewable energy. However, it’s impossible to guarantee just green electrons are being sent to any one location.

I totally understand that hosting companies can’t just put up a wind turbine farm in the middle of downtown, but I found a hosting company, AISO, that powers their servers with their own solar panels, on-site. This blog is on their servers.

AISO is a full-service hosting company. Shared hosting for smaller sites and blogs as well as virtual private servers and dedicated servers for large data-base driven sites and web applications. They’ve got you covered with great support and services from domain name registration to computer backup all at very competitive rates (I was shocked). I don’t promote companies lightly and can highly recommend AISO.

100% Renewable Energy Internet Starts with You

  • If your website or blog is not hosted by a company using 100% renewable energy, consider moving your website or blog to one that is.
  • Encourage your company or organization to consider moving their website to a green hosting company. A good time to switch hosting companies is when you’re website is being redesigned or upgraded.

You can see why this is a proactive first step to an internet that is powered 100% by renewable energy. It won’t happen if we continue with business as usual. And, wouldn’t you like to be able to say your website or blog was powered by 100% renewable energy? Look into moving your website or blog today.

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2 Responses to Internet Powered by 100% Renewable Energy: Step One

  1. Roxanne says:

    You statements are 100% correct it is the customers that have to push for change form suppliers. Every little push helps!

    • Jane Lindley says:

      Thanks Roxanne! I know the idea of moving a website or blog can be off putting but a seasoned programmer can move just about any kind of site from simple HTML to database-driven. Then it’s just a matter of redirecting the Domain Name Servers to the new host.