Google environmental silence is broken

Posted on September 14, 2011


Until recently, Google kept its statistics for energy consumption secret. However, in a recent disclosure, the search engine giant announced that it consumes the same amount of energy as powering 200,000 homes, although in doing so it is helping the environment. Although it may appear that performing a search query or watching a YouTube video is free, it uses energy. Nearly 260 million watts are consumed by the global data centres, which amounts to 25 percent of the output of a nuclear power plant.

Google argues that the billions of operations conducted in the Google data centres result in people consuming less energy, which is environmentally friendly. The savings that are made in fuel consumption alone, as people use the search engine for information rather than drive to a library or information centre are huge, according to Google’s senior vice president for technical infrastructure, Urs Hoelzle.

Although billions of searches are performed each day by people all over the world, the energy consumption for each individual amounts to only 180 watt-hours each month, which is the same as a 60 watt light bulb being on for three hours. A quarter of Google’s energy consumption is from renewable fuels, and is expected to increase in the near future. From the 260 million watts of energy used by Google, 12.5 million is due to searches carried out by users.

Google plays a significant role in the way that information is discovered and utilised, which is why the search engine giant plays an important role in any SEO campaign.

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