Your independent energy adviser
0800 051 5770

The Cloud Part 2

We recently wrote a guide on the cloud and the potential benefits it could bring to mass energy usage, The Cloud, carbon and energy-efficiency. We focussed both on the benefits for business but also the opportunity for large organisation to invest in renewable generation and clean tech to drive their huge data centres.

According to a recent report by Greenpeace, major businesses haven’t grasped this opportunity and instead are fully entrenched in a fossil fuel culture.

Both Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Twitter have been singled out as bad exponents of the Cloud whereas Apple Inc, Facebook, Google and Salesforce have been praised.

The difference? The latter have committed to powering their huge data centres with renewable energy, up to 100% in some cases whereas Twitter, AWS, and there users such as Spotify, Tumblr and Netflix were less forthcoming in their fuel mix.

In the Clicking Clean Report from Greenpeace, whilst not being able to identify the true fuel mix, they surmised that as the datacentres were located in heavily fossil fuel dependent areas they were likely to have a less than stellar renewable mix.

Whereas in the UK the grid is fully connected throughout the regions and the energy we use could be from any source whatsoever, in the US the grids are regionalised (given their huge expanse) and can be reliant on single fuel sources based in the localised area. This, in Greenpeace’s opinion is the case with AWS and Twitter:

“If you look at their (AWS) data centres, their heaviest concentration is in Virginia which has a very dirty energy grid. They have really done nothing at this point to try to leverage their buying power to secure clean energy.”

Whilst no official figures are published by AWS, the inference is a dependence on coal generation when rivals have invested heavily in dedicated renewable generation sources.

This is a topic that only a few years ago would have had no traction or interest except amongst niche pressure groups. However with the ability to audit and report increasing as tech expands, this information is being increasingly used in buying and lifestyle choices.

Even in our own UK energy market we have published fuel mix’s for each of the energy suppliers to help customers understand the environmental impact of any supplier they choose. Not only does this enable a business to select the generation balance that is suitable for them, it also enables the purchase of ‘green’ or ‘renewable’ dominated energy products without the need to pay premium prices.

To understand your suppliers’ fuel mix visit our dedicated energy supplier pages and find out whether you’ve got a Google or a Twitter supplier.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.