Wind farms and server farms, energy-efficient couple. That's according to a study from a British academic. The study concludes that in-house servers should give way to server farms co-loated in remote areas where wind or solar or other alternative energy can be generated.
"There's something very special about computing power which is very different from heating your house," said Prof Andy Hopper. "Computing power can be moved around the world and can be done anywhere in the world where the energy is available."
In the UK they estimate that office equipment and computers acount for at least 15% of the typical office's carbon footprint. And energy use by computers and servers will only increase in coming decades. The loss of energy by moving electricity around a national or regional grid is considerable, says Hopper.
In an energy-strapped world, transmission grid power erosion is not to be ignored. It can run over 7% in some grids.
Meanwhile thought is going into making the gird itself more efficient. And I've blogged here on one company working on making office use moe efficient through smart scheduling, hotelling and analytical space management software. And we've also blogged about less energy-hungry servers and network systems.