How Clean is Your Cloud and Telecom?

Greenpeace report How Clean is Your Cloud? I saw mentioned in 3T magazine news is actually quite interesting reading. This year’s report provides a look at the energy choices some of the largest and fastest growing IT companies. The report analyzes the 14 IT companies and the electricity supply chain in more than 80 data center cases.

cleancloud

The report contains also lots of interesting background information on both IT and telecom energy consumption. I recommend checking it out. Here are some points picked from How Clean is Your Cloud? report:

Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo – these global brands and a host of other IT companies are rapidly and fundamentally transforming the way in which we work, communicate, watch movies or TV, listen to music, and share pictures through “the cloud.”

The growth and scale of investment in the cloud is truly mind-blowing, with estimates of a 50-fold increase in the amount of digital information by 2020 and nearly half a trillion in investment in the coming year, all to create and feed our desire for ubiquitous access to infinite information from our computers, phones and other mobile devices, instantly.

The engine that drives the cloud is the data center. Data centers are the factories of the 21st century information age, containing thousands of computers that store and manage our rapidly growing collection of data for consumption at a moment’s notice. Given the energy-intensive nature of maintaining the cloud, access to significant amounts of electricity is a key factor in decisions about where to build these data centers. Industry leaders estimate nearly $450bn US dollars is being spent annually on new data center space.

Since electricity plays a critical role in the cost structure of companies that use the cloud, there have been dramatic strides made in improving the energy efficiency design of the facilities and the thousands of computers that go inside. However, despite significant improvements in efficiency, the exponential growth in cloud computing far outstrips these energy savings.

How much energy is required to power the ever-expanding online world? What percentage of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is attributable to the IT sector? Answers to these questions are very difficult to obtain with any degree of precision, partially due to the sector’s explosive growth, a wide range of devices and energy sources, and rapidly changing technology and business models. The estimates of the IT sector’s carbon footprint performed to date have varied widely in their methodology and scope. One of the most recognized estimates of the IT sector’s footprint was conducted as part of the 2008 SMART 2020 study, which established that the sector is responsible for 2% of global GHG emissions.

The combined electricity demand of the internet/cloud (data centers and telecommunications network) globally in 2007 was approximately 623bn kWh (if the cloud were a country, it would have the fifth largest electricity demand in the world). Based on current projections, the demand for electricity will more than triple to 1,973bn kWh (an amount greater than combined total demand of France, Germany, Canada and Brazil).

The report indicates that, due to the economic downturn and continued energy efficiency and performance improvements, global energy demand from data centers from 2005-2010 increased by 56%. Estimates of data center electricity demand come in at 31GW globally, with an increase of 19% in 2012 alone. At the same time global electricity consumption is otherwise essentially flat due to the global recession is still a staggering rate of growth.

Given the scale of predicted growth, the source of electricity must be factored into a meaningful definition of “green IT”. Energy efficiency alone will, at best, slow the growth of the sector’s footprint. The replacement of dirty sources of electricity with clean renewable sources is still the crucial missing link in the sector’s sustainability efforts according to the report.

datacenter

The global telecoms sector is also growing rapidly. Rapid growth in use of smart phones and broadband mobile connections mean mobile data traffic in 2011 was eight times the size of the entire internet in 2000. It is estimated that global mobile data traffic grew 133% in 2011, with 597 petabytes of data sent by mobiles every month. In 2011, it is estimated that 6 billion people or 86.7% of the entire global population have mobile telephone subscriptions. By the end of 2012, the number of mobile connected devices is expected to exceed the global population. Electronic devices and the rapidly growing cloud that supports our demand for greater online access are clearly a significant force in driving global energy demand.

What about telecoms in the developing and newly industrialized countries? The report has some details from India (by the way it is expected that India will pass China to become the world’s largest mobile market in terms of subscriptions in 2012). Much of the growth in the Indian telecom sector is from India’s rural and semi-urban areas. By 2012, India is likely to have 200 million rural telecom connections at a penetration rate of 25%. Out of the existing 400,000 mobile towers, over 70% exist in rural and semi-urban areas where either grid-connected electricity is not available or the electricity supply is irregular. As a result, mobile towers and, increasingly, grid-connected towers in these areas rely on diesel generators to power their network operations. The consumption of diesel by the telecoms sector currently stands at a staggering 3bn liters annually, second only to the railways in India.

What is the case on other developing and newly industrialized countries? I don’t actually know.

NOTE: Please note that that many figures given on the report are just estimates based on quite little actual data, so they might be somewhat off the actual figures. Given the source of the report I would quess that if the figures are off, they are most probably off to direction so that the environmental effect looks bigger than it actually is.

600 Comments

  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    We need to talk about data centers | Medea Vox
    29 October 2019 by Medea
    https://medea.mah.se/2019/10/vox-data-centers/

    New research shows that data centers are not the jackpot that local politicians and energy companies claim they are: They don’t create many jobs, they are a burden to the environment and the electricity networks, and they provide little benefit to local communities. So why all the hype when there’s a new data center coming to town?

    Reply
  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Raportti: Mobiiliala lähtee mukaan ilmastotalkoisiin
    https://www.uusiteknologia.fi/2019/12/13/raportti-mobiiliala-lahtee-mukaan-ilmastotalkoisiin/

    The Enablement Effect
    The impact of mobile communications technologies on carbon emission reductions
    https://www.gsma.com/betterfuture/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/GSMA_Enablement_Effect.pdf

    Reply
  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How Green Was My Data Center? (Not Very)
    https://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/green-tech/conservation/how-green-was-my-data-center-not-very

    A new data center industry report reveals that there’s a long way to go before anyone can claim the sector is in any way “green.” By one standard, just 12 percent of the data centers the report’s authors surveyed are either markedly efficient, or sustainable or, yes, green.

    Reply
  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Our love of the cloud is making a green energy future impossible
    https://techcrunch.com/2020/04/25/our-love-of-the-cloud-is-making-a-green-energy-future-impossible/

    An epic number of citizens are video-conferencing to work in these lockdown times. But as they trade in a gas-burning commute for digital connectivity, their personal energy use for each two hours of video is greater than the share of fuel they would have consumed on a four-mile train ride. Add to this, millions of students ‘driving’ to class on the internet instead of walking.

    The COVID-19 crisis highlights just how much more sophisticated and robust the 2020 internet is from what existed as recently as 2008 when the economy last collapsed, an internet ‘century’ ago. If a national lockdown had occurred back then, most of the tens of millions who now telecommute would have joined the nearly 20 million who got laid off. Nor would it have been nearly as practical for universities and schools to have tens of millions of students learning from home.

    The future of AI and the cloud will bring us a lot more of the above, along with practical home diagnostics and useful VR-based telemedicine, not to mention hyper-accelerated clinical trials for new therapies. And this says nothing about what the cloud will yet enable in the 80 percent of the economy that’s not part of healthcare.

    For all of the excitement that these new capabilities offer us though, the bedrock behind all of that cloud computing will remain consistent — and consistently increasing — demand for energy. Far from saving energy, our AI-enabled workplace future uses more energy than ever before, a challenge the tech industry rapidly needs to assess and consider in the years ahead.

    Reply
  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    LUMI-supertietokoneen hukkalämmöllä tuotetaan 20 prosenttia Kajaanin kaukolämmöstä: CSC ja Loiste Lämpö allekirjoittivat sopimuksen
    https://www.lahienergia.org/lumi-supertietokoneen-hukkalammolla-tuotetaan-20-prosenttia-kajaanin-kaukolammosta-csc-ja-loiste-lampo-allekirjoittivat-sopimuksen/

    Reply
  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Data centers consume less energy than thought
    Research from Northwestern University offers comprehensive analysis presents a more nuanced presents of global energy use related to data centers
    https://www.csemag.com/articles/data-centers-consume-less-energy-than-thought/?oly_enc_id=0462E3054934E2U

    If the world is using more and more data, then it must be using more and more energy, right? Not so, according to a comprehensive analysis performed by researchers at Northwestern University, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Koomey Analytics. They have developed the a detailed model to date of global data center energy use and have found that although demand for data has increased rapidly, massive efficiency gains by data centers have kept energy use roughly flat over the past decade.

    This comprehensive model provides a more nuanced view of data center energy use and its drivers, enabling the researchers to make strategic policy recommendations for better managing this energy use in the future.

    “While the historical efficiency progress made by data centers is remarkable, our findings do not mean that the IT industry and policymakers can rest on their laurels,” said Eric Masanet, who led the study. “We think there is enough remaining efficiency potential to last several more years. But ever-growing demand for data means that everyone — including policy makers, data center operators, equipment manufacturers, and data consumers — must intensify efforts to avoid a possible sharp rise in energy use later this decade.”

    Filled with computing and networking equipment, data centers are central locations that collect, store, and process data. As the world relies more and more on data-intensive technologies, the energy use of data centers is a growing concern.

    “Considering that data centers are energy-intensive enterprises in a rapidly evolving industry, we do need to analyze them rigorously,” said study coauthor Arman Shehabi, a research scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. “Less detailed analyses have predicted rapid growth in data center energy use, but without fully considering the historical efficiency progress made by the industry. When we include that missing piece, a different picture of our digital lifestyles emerges.”

    Reply
  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Air- versus water-cooled chilled water plants
    A water-cooled chiller plant can be more efficient over the life span of the system and will be less costly than an air-cooled chiller plant
    https://www.csemag.com/articles/air-versus-water-cooled-chilled-water-plants/?oly_enc_id=0462E3054934E2U

    Reply
  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Understanding changing data center metrics
    There is a better way to assess data center behavior. Novel multidimensional metrics have been incorporated in data center standards and best practices
    https://www.csemag.com/articles/understanding-changing-data-center-metrics/?oly_enc_id=0462E3054934E2U

    Reply
  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Euroopan datakeskuksista hiilineutraaleja 2030 mennessä
    https://etn.fi/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=11678&via=n&datum=2021-01-27_15:27:14&mottagare=30929

    Euroopan pilvipalvelu- ja datakeskustoimijoilla on oma ”Climate Neutral Data Centre Operator Pact” -yhteenliittymä. Nyt siltä on tullut aloite, jossa toiminnansta halutaan tehdä hiilineutraalia vuoteen 2030 mennessä. Nyt maailman suurin datakeskusyhtiö Equinix ilmoitti liittyneensä mukaan hankkeeseen.

    Yhteenliittymän aloite on ensimmäinen kerta, kun ala osoittaa yhdessä sitoutuneisuutensa siihen, että datakeskukset Euroopassa ovat hiilineutraaleja vuoteen 2030 mennessä. Alan yhteisenä tavoitteena on toimia suunnannäyttäjänä Euroopan kehittyessä ilmastoneutraaliksi talousalueeksi.

    Reply
  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How clean is cloud computing? New data reveals how green Google’s data centers really are
    https://www.zdnet.com/article/how-clean-is-cloud-computing-new-data-reveals-how-green-googles-data-centers-really-are/

    Like many big tech players, Google has committed to becoming greener – and now the search giant has released some fresh data providing better insights into how well the company is sticking to its goals.

    Reply
  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Digitalization with 5G enables further acceleration of climate action
    https://www.ericsson.com/en/blog/2021/1/digitalization-5g-climate-action

    Digital technology may be our most powerful, scalable tool to tackle climate change. With 2020 showing digitalization can be rapidly accelerated, the same will be true when it comes to CO2 reductions. 5G opens up these new opportunities – why not use it to reach our goals faster?

    Reply
  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    https://www.uusiteknologia.fi/2021/05/12/lahti-selvitti-virtuaalitapahtumien-hiilijalanjalkea/

    Kun avajaisseminaari muuttui koronatilanteesta johtuen virtuaalitapahtumaksi, saatiin Google Analyticsia hyödyntäen tieto siitä, mistä päin ja millaisilta päätelaitteilta tapahtumaa oli seurattu.

    Virtuaalitapahtuman hiilijalanjäljen laskennassa huomioitiin esimerkiksi käyttäjien päätelaitteiden virrankulutus, millä laitteella tapahtumaa on katsottu ja miten kauan, runkoverkon datansiirto siirretyn datan määrän mukaan sekä reitittimien ja modeemien liityntäverkon sähkönkulutus.

    Johtopäätöksenä oli, että yhden ihmisen edestakainen lentomatka Etelä-Euroopasta Suomeen on suurempi kuorma ympäristölle kuin virtuaalitapahtuma, johon osallistuisi jopa tuhansia ihmisiä.

    Reply
  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Aloitin DNA:lla ja yllätyin telealan päästömääristä – mutta töitä niiden vähentämiseksi tehdään hartiavoimin
    Aloitin DNA:n vastuullisuuspäällikkönä viime vuoden lokakuussa. Nyt aikaa on ehtinyt kulua jo sen verran, että kehtaa myöntää asioita, jotka yllättivät minut aloittaessani, kirjoittaa Tuuli Nummelin blogissaan.
    https://www.dna.fi/blogi/-/blogs/aloitin-dna-lla-ja-yllatyin-telealan-paastomaarista-mutta-toita-niiden-vahentamiseksi-tehdaan-hartiavoimin?fbclid=IwAR0nmBJHGy3kQH0ddVjNqXo3-_qmvR1trGA-v13kIUDMN3LbOGVKNtN_jUE

    Oppi 1: ICT-alan osuus maailman sähkönkulutuksesta on noin 4–10 prosenttia ja alan kasvihuonekaasupäästöt ovat noin 3–5 prosenttia.

    Tiesitkö että sinunkin taskussasi on tällä hetkellä noin 0,034 grammaa kultaa, 16 grammaa kuparia ja 0,3 grammaa hopeaa, jopa vähän platinaa?

    Puhelinten kierrättäminen on fiksua niin ympäristön kuin ihmisoikeuksien kannalta.

    Oppi 2: Kierrätä kaikki vanhat puhelimet, tabletit ja tietokoneen asianmukaisesti – se on ympäristön ja yhteiskunnan kannalta kestävä teko.

    Oppi 3: DNA on onnistunut pienentämään päästöjänsä vuodesta 2015 jo yli 50 prosenttia. Jatkamme tiukkaa matkaamme kohti hiilineutraalia toimintaa.

    Reply
  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    About 1 percent of all electricity generated goes to cloud computing. By the end of this decade, we could be devoting 8 percent or more. Such growth cannot continue without something giving way.

    Cloud Computing’s Coming Energy Crisis
    https://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/hardware/cloud-computings-coming-energy-crisis

    How much of our computing now happens in the cloud? A lot. Providers of public cloud services alone take in more than a quarter of a trillion U.S. dollars a year. That’s why Amazon, Google, and Microsoft maintain massive data centers all around the world. Apple and Facebook, too, run similar facilities, all stuffed with high-core-count CPUs, sporting terabytes of RAM and petabytes of storage.

    These machines do the heavy lifting to support what’s been called “surveillance capitalism”: the endless tracking, user profiling, and algorithmic targeting used to distribute advertising. All that computing rakes in a lot of dollars, of course, but it also consumes a lot of watts: Bloomberg recently estimated that about 1 percent of the world’s electricity goes to cloud computing.

    That figure is poised to grow exponentially over the next decade. Bloomberg reckons that, globally, we might exit the 2020s needing as much as 8 percent of all electricity to power the future cloud. That might seem like a massive jump, but it’s probably a conservative estimate. After all, by 2030, with hundreds of millions of augmented-reality spectacles streaming real-time video into the cloud, and with the widespread adoption of smart digital currencies seamlessly blending money with code, the cloud will provide the foundation for nearly every financial transaction and user interaction with data.

    How much energy can we dedicate to all this computing? In an earlier time, we could have relied on Moore’s Law to keep the power budget in check as we scaled up our computing resources. But now, as we wring out the last bits of efficiency from the final few process nodes before we reach atomic-scale devices, those improvements will hit physical limits. It won’t be long until computing and power consumption will once again be strongly coupled—as they were 60 years ago, before integrated CPUs changed the game.

    Software and hardware engineering will no doubt reorient their design practices around power efficiency. More code will find its way into custom silicon. And that code will find more reasons to run infrequently, asynchronously, and as minimally as possible. All of that will help, but as software progressively eats more of the world—to borrow a now-famous metaphor—we will confront this challenge in ever-wider realms.

    Reply
  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How Sustainable is a Solar Powered Website?
    https://solar.lowtechmagazine.com/2020/01/how-sustainable-is-a-solar-powered-website.html

    We present our website’s energy and uptime data, calculate the embodied energy of our configuration, consider the optimal balance between sustainability and server uptime, and outline possible improvements.

    Reply
  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Power at the Edge: the role of the data centre in sustainability
    https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/19165/540432?player-preauth=BuK9QIk90x8EmwCc4ZMkXU%2FII87dYmMCjDtIJwX5FnU%3D&utm_source=brighttalk-promoted&utm_campaign=network_weekly_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=collab-recommended&utm_term=222022

    In this webinar, learn how you can significantly reduce the power consumption in your data centre and dramatically contribute to your sustainability goals.

    The data center industry is responsible for approx 1-3% of the total electricity consumed around the world, with no sign of abating. And, while the amount of power per processing unit has been reducing, in reality, the real, actual amount of power has been increasing in line with total processing demands.

    External and internal pressures for transparency in sustainability practices are increasing, forcing organizations to declare their intentions and demonstrate the practical steps they are taking to make change. The data center is a natural place for organizations to start, and making fundamental, positive change is more achievable than ever before.

    The way that IT infrastructure is changing at the moment is more of it is going to be built in smaller, more distributed “edge” locations – locations that still pose very practical constraints when it comes to space, accessibility, power and cooling.

    Reply
  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Nokia’s Approach to Sustainability: The Nokia People and Planet 2021 Report
    https://www.broadbandcommission.org/nokia-sustainability/

    Reply
  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    https://www.uusiteknologia.fi/2022/11/23/tutkittua-tietoa-verkojen-energiankulutuksesta/

    Liikenne- ja viestintävirasto Traficomin tutkimuksen mukaan viestintäverkkojen energiankulutus oli vuosi sitten kokonaisuudessaan noin 650 gigawattituntia. Mukana on niin kiinteät kuin langattomat matkapuhelinverkot.

    Kiinteän ja mobiilin verkon energiankulutuksessa oli Traficomin selvityksessä selvä ero, sillä’ radioverkot kattoivat vuosi sitten kokonaiskulutuksesta noin 60 prosenttia, kiinteät liityntäverkot noin 20 prosenttia ja muut verkkojen osat noin 20 prosenttia.

    Traficomin mukaan kiinteässä verkossa energiankulutus oli vuosi sitten 0,05 kilowattituntia (kWh) ja matkaviestinverkossa 0,12 kWh siirrettyä gigatavua (Gt) kohden, kun muiden verkonosien energiankulutus jaetaan tasan kummankin verkon kesken.

    Reply
  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How thermal efficiency is helping data centers run more sustainably
    https://news.ti.com/blog/2022/10/25/how-thermal-efficiency-is-helping-data-centers-run-more-sustainably?HQS=null-null-pwr-pwr_gen_thermal_efficiency-asset-blog-ElectronicDesign_psfi_density_l1-wwe_awr&DCM=yes&dclid=CP6ckrCmqPwCFWnJOwIdw8AKsw

    Innovative semiconductor design and packaging technologies are improving efficiencies in data centers as server power demands increase

    Reply
  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Datakeskusten hukkalämpöä tulisi kierrättää enemmän kaukolämpöverkkoon
    https://www.granlund.fi/blogi/datakeskusten-hukkalampoa-tulisi-kierrattaa-enemman-kaukolampoverkkoon/

    11.1.2023 – Energiatehokkaasti rakennetut datakeskukset ovat osa sähköverkon tehoreserviä. Kun datakeskukset hyödyntävät omana energialähteenään uusiutuvia energiamuotoja, voidaan pienentää myös hiilidioksidipäästöjä.

    Datakeskusten energiankäyttö saa aika ajoin osakseen kriittistä arvostelua. Pohditaan, miksi tarvitaan datakeskuksia, kun energiakriisin vuoksi sähkön hinta on muutenkin koholla.

    Datakeskukset ovat kuitenkin edellytys monille yhteiskunnan kriittisille toiminnoille. Kaikkien ennusteiden mukaan digitalisaatio jatkaa kasvuaan huolimatta globaaleista muutoksista, joita olemme viime vuosina kohdanneet. Datakeskusten tarjoamaa kapasiteettia tarvitaan.

    Datakeskukset mukaan kysynnänjoustomarkkinaan
    Datakeskukset kuluttavat paljon energiaa, mutta hukkalämpöä talteen ottamalla ja kierrättämällä ne ovat osa energiantuotannon tehoreserviä. Samalla ne tukevat uusiutuvan energian rakentamista Suomeen. Meillä on jo lukuisia esimerkkejä siitä, miten datakeskuksia hyödynnetään uusiutuvan energian rakentamisessa ja kaukolämpöverkossa.

    Jotta datakeskuksista on hyötyä energiantuotannossa, ne pitää kytkeä sähköverkkoon siten, että ne ovat mukana kysynnänjoustomarkkinassa. UPS-laitteet voidaan valjastaa taajuudensäätöreserviin, ja varavoimakoneiden avulla voidaan tarvittaessa tuottaa kaikki datakeskuksien tarvitsema sähkö.

    Kun taajuus Suomen kantaverkossa alkaa laskea, UPS-laitteet alkavat syöttää verkkoon sähköä. Jos esimerkiksi ydinvoimala tipahtaa verkosta, taajuus Suomen kantaverkossa laskee valon nopeudella. UPS-laitteet huomioivat muutoksen ja pystyvät reagoimaan taajuuden laskuun millisekuntien viiveellä – ja kantaverkko pysyy pystyssä. Kun taajuus alkaa ylituotannon aikana nousta, konesalien akustot voivat varata ylimääräistä kapasiteettia verkosta. Tämä teknologia on jo osassa uusimmista kohteista käytössä.

    Reply
  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Bloomberg:
    Experts raise concerns about Germany’s plan to heat homes with heat expelled by data centers as the warm air isn’t hot enough for most district heating networks

    Germany Wants to Reuse Data Centers’ Heat. No One Is Buying It
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-01-14/germany-wants-to-reuse-data-centers-heat-no-one-is-buying-it?leadSource=uverify%20wall

    New efficiency law will force operators to reuse waste heat
    Critics say district heating not laid out to absorb emissions

    Germany wants to force its power-hungry data centers to harness excess heat for warming residential homes — an effort which the industry warns is likely to fall flat.

    The country has become one of the largest global hubs for data centers thanks to its clear data protection and security laws. Politicians are now trying to re-purpose some of their controversial excess heat to improve efficiency in light of the energy crisis.

    Reply
  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    https://www.mwrf.com/technologies/semiconductors/article/21260482/microwaves-rf-after-a-rebrand-arctic-semi-ships-its-first-5g-chipset?utm_source=RF+MWRF+Today&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=CPS230224086&o_eid=7211D2691390C9R&rdx.identpull=omeda|7211D2691390C9R&oly_enc_id=7211D2691390C9R

    Telecommunications and IT consume from 5% to 9% of the world’s electricity supply. According to the Datacenter Forum, the shift to 5G will increase these sectors’ energy consumption 160% by 2023. It becomes imperative, then, to lower energy consumption and efficiently manage thermals to reduce infrastructure costs for 5G network equipment and end-user devices.

    Reply
  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Robottiautot kuluttavat lopulta yhtä paljon sähköä kuin datakeskukset
    https://etn.fi/index.php/13-news/14660-robottiautot-kuluttavat-lopulta-yhtae-paljon-saehkoeae-kuin-datakeskukset

    SAE-luokituksessa tason 4 ja 5 autonomiset ajoneuvot ovat jo sellaisia, joissa ei tarvita ihmiskuskia. Tämä automaatio edellyttää kuitenkin melkoisesti laskentakykyä. Massachusetts Institute of Technologyn tutkijat ovat arvioineet, että lopulta robottiautot kuluttavat yhtä paljon sähköä kuin maailman datakeskukset.

    Arvio on hätkähdyttävä. Vuonna 2018 datakeskusten yhteenlaskettu energiankulutus oli 205 terawattituntia eli yksi prosentti maailman energiankulutuksesta. Maailman kasvihuonepäästöistä datakeskusten syyksi luettiin 0,3 prosenttia.

    MIT:n artikkelissa esitetään erilaisia robottiautoskenaarioita. Jos robottiauto ajaa tunnin päivässä ja päättelee 60 kertaa sekunnissa 10 kameran signaalin perusteella, tämä tarkoittaisi 21,6 miljoonaa päättelyä päivässä. Jos robottiautoja on maailmassa miljardi kappaletta, tämä tarkoittaisi 21,6 kvadriljoonaa päättelyä globaalisti joka päivä (kvadriljoona on miljoona miljoonaa miljoonaa miljoonaa!).

    Kun robottiautojen prosessorijärjestelmät yltävät nyt noin 1-2 biljoonaan operaatioon sekunnissa wattia kohti, puhutaan noin kilowatin tehonkulutuksesta. Miljardi robottiautoa kuluttaisi saman verran sähköä kuin tämän hetken datakeskukset.

    Entäpä, jos robottiautoja onkin kaksi tai kolme miljardia? Onneksi autojen prosessorien laskentakyky kaksinkertaistuu 2,8 vuoden välein, mikä myös laskee niiden suhteellista tehonkulutusta. Ja robottiautoilun päästöjä.

    Reply
  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Kuidussa bitti aiheuttaa vähiten päästöjä
    https://etn.fi/index.php/13-news/14739-kuidussa-bitti-aiheuttaa-vaehiten-paeaestoejae

    Kissavideonkin lataaminen kännykkään tai tietokoneen ruudulle aiheuttaa päästöjä, mutta useimmat eivät edes mieti netinkäyttönsä ympäristövaikutuksia. Valokuitunen teetätti tutkimuksen ja sen mukaan valokuidun hiilidioksidipäästöt ovat varsin pienet. Nettiliittymien vertailussa sitä voi pitää kotien ylivoimaisesti ympäristöystävällisimpänä tiedonsiirtotapana.

    Rakentamisvaiheessa verkon elinkaareksi lasketaan vähintään viisikymmentä vuotta. Sinä aikana verkosta syntyvät päästöt vastaavat bensa- tai dieselautolla menopaluuajoa Helsingistä Kemijärvelle. Silti 75 prosenttia suomalaisista sanoo, että ei ole pohtinut nettiliittymänsä vaihtamista ympäristöystävällisempään vaihtoehtoon.

    Suomalaisista lähes puolet (46 prosenttia) sanoo, että ei ole ollut tietoinen netinkäytön ympäristövaikutuksista, selvisi Valokuitusen YouGovilla teettämästä tutkimuksesta vuonna 2022. Nyt valokuitutoimialalla on tehty ensimmäinen selvitys, jossa on laskettu valokuituverkon koko elinkaaren aikaiset päästöt. Green Carbonin tekemien laskelmien mukaan valokuituverkon hiilijalanjälki viidenkymmenen vuoden aikana on yhtä kotitaloutta kohden vain 273,90 kiloa CO2e. Tämä vastaa 1740 kilometrin ajoa bensa- tai diesel-henkilöautolla.

    - Selvitys todisti, että valokuitu on ympäristöystävällisin kotien tiedonsiirtotapa. Se, minkä tiedonsiirron tavan valitsemme, on aiheuttamiemme päästöjen osalta aivan ratkaisevaa. Tähän pitäisi yhteiskunnassamme ja ihan meidän jokaisen herätä, Valokuitusen toimitusjohtaja Heikki Kaunisto toteaa.

    Valokuituverkon vuosittaiset päästöt kotitaloutta kohden ovat 5,48 kg CO2e. Keskivertosuomalainen aiheuttaa vuodessa päästöjä 10 300 kg CO2e. Pyöristettynä valokuituverkon osuus keskivertosuomalaisen vuosittaisista päästöistä on noin 0,05 prosenttia eli puoli promillea. – Muut teknologiat voivat lohkaista merkittävästi isomman osuuden vuosittaisista päästöistämme, Heikki Kaunisto toteaa.

    Toisin kuin yleisesti kuvitellaan, valokuituverkon rakentamisessa suurimmat päästöt eivät synny kaapelien kaivamisesta. Valokuituverkon kolme suurinta päästölähdettä ovat kuitupäätelaitteen sähkönkulutus (36 %), laitetilojen energiankulutus (22 %) ja vasta kolmanneksi (17 %) kaapelin kaivuutyöt.

    Reply
  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    https://etn.fi/index.php/13-news/14969-nokia-tukiasemakaappi-leikkaa-radikaalisti-tehonkulutusta

    Operaattorien laitteiden virrankulutus on viime vuosina kasvanut varsin tasaisesti noin 10 prosentin vuosivauhtia ja mitataan sadoissa terawattitunneissa. Verkon energiakustannukset muodostavat noin puolet verkko-operaattoreiden kustannuksista ja radioverkon osuus mobiiliverkon energiankulutuksesta on noin 80 prosenttia. Nokian uusi tukiasemaratkaisu tuo ongelmaan helpotusta.

    Nokia esitteli tänään uuden laajennetun valikoimansa energiatehokkaita tukiasemaratkaisuja, jotka on suunniteltu AirScale-pohjaisiin tukiasemiin. Valikoima pitää sisällään käyttövalmiin all-in-one-kaappiratkaisun, jossa on 6 kilowatin tasasuuntauskapasiteetti.

    Uudet optimoidut ulkoratkaisut vähentävät työmaan kokonaisenergiankulutusta jopa 30 prosenttia. Jäähdytykseen kuluu energiaa jopa 99 prosenttia vähemmän, joten operaattori pääsee lähelle nollahiilijalanjälkeä. Myös saitin vaatima tila ja operaattorin siitä maksama vuokra pienenee.

    Reply
  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Mobiililiikenteen eksponentiaalinen kasvu tarkoittaa, että tukiasemien määrä ja niihin liittyvä sähkönkulutus kasvavat. Perinteisissä sisätukiasemissa jopa puolet energiankulutuksesta voi kulua apukomponentteihin, kuten puhaltimiin, jäähdytysjärjestelmiin, valaistukseen ja muihin teholähteisiin.

    https://www.nokia.com/networks/mobile-networks/site-solutions/

    Reply
  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How thermal efficiency is helping data centers run more sustainably
    https://news.ti.com/blog/2022/10/25/how-thermal-efficiency-is-helping-data-centers-run-more-sustainably?HQS=null-null-pwr-pwr_gen_thermal_efficiency-asset-blog-ElectronicDesign_psfi_density_l1-wwe_awr&DCM=yes&dclid=CJKa0KbriIEDFd1IHgIdo0kMVA

    Innovative semiconductor design and packaging technologies are improving efficiencies in data centers as server power demands increase

    Reply
  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Associated Press:
    Research: ChatGPT uses an estimated 500ml of water for every five to 50 prompts; Microsoft disclosed the company’s water use spiked 34% YoY in 2022, Google 20% — The cost of building an artificial intelligence product like ChatGPT can be hard to measure. But one thing Microsoft-backed OpenAI needed …

    Artificial intelligence technology behind ChatGPT was built in Iowa — with a lot of water
    https://apnews.com/article/chatgpt-gpt4-iowa-ai-water-consumption-microsoft-f551fde98083d17a7e8d904f8be822c4

    The cost of building an artificial intelligence product like ChatGPT can be hard to measure.

    But one thing Microsoft-backed OpenAI needed for its technology was plenty of water, pulled from the watershed of the Raccoon and Des Moines rivers in central Iowa to cool a powerful supercomputer as it helped teach its AI systems how to mimic human writing.

    As they race to capitalize on a craze for generative AI, leading tech developers including Microsoft, OpenAI and Google have acknowledged that growing demand for their AI tools carries hefty costs, from expensive semiconductors to an increase in water consumption.

    Building a large language model requires analyzing patterns across a huge trove of human-written text. All of that computing takes a lot of electricity and generates a lot of heat. To keep it cool on hot days, data centers need to pump in water — often to a cooling tower outside its warehouse-sized buildings.

    In its latest environmental report, Microsoft disclosed that its global water consumption spiked 34% from 2021 to 2022 (to nearly 1.7 billion gallons, or more than 2,500 Olympic-sized swimming pools), a sharp increase compared to previous years that outside researchers tie to its AI research.

    “It’s fair to say the majority of the growth is due to AI,” including “its heavy investment in generative AI and partnership with OpenAI,” said Shaolei Ren, a researcher at the University of California, Riverside who has been trying to calculate the environmental impact of generative AI products such as ChatGPT.

    In a paper due to be published later this year, Ren’s team estimates ChatGPT gulps up 500 milliliters of water (close to what’s in a 16-ounce water bottle) every time you ask it a series of between 5 to 50 prompts or questions. The range varies depending on where its servers are located and the season.

    “Most people are not aware of the resource usage underlying ChatGPT,” Ren said. “If you’re not aware of the resource usage, then there’s no way that we can help conserve the resources.”

    Google reported a 20% growth in water use in the same period, which Ren also largely attributes to its AI work. Google’s spike wasn’t uniform

    In response to questions from The Associated Press, Microsoft said in a statement this week that it is investing in research to measure AI’s energy and carbon footprint “while working on ways to make large systems more efficient, in both training and application.”

    “We will continue to monitor our emissions, accelerate progress while increasing our use of clean energy to power data centers, purchasing renewable energy, and other efforts to meet our sustainability goals of being carbon negative, water positive and zero waste by 2030,” the company’s statement said.

    “We recognize training large models can be energy and water-intensive” and work to improve efficiencies, it said.

    “So if you are developing AI models within Microsoft, then you should schedule your training in Iowa instead of in Arizona,” Ren said. “In terms of training, there’s no difference. In terms of water consumption or energy consumption, there’s a big difference.”

    For much of the year, Iowa’s weather is cool enough for Microsoft to use outside air to keep the supercomputer running properly and vent heat out of the building. Only when the temperature exceeds 29.3 degrees Celsius (about 85 degrees Fahrenheit) does it withdraw water, the company has said in a public disclosure.

    That can still be a lot of water, especially in the summer. In July 2022, the month before OpenAI says it completed its training of GPT-4, Microsoft pumped in about 11.5 million gallons of water to its cluster of Iowa data centers, according to the West Des Moines Water Works. That amounted to about 6% of all the water used in the district, which also supplies drinking water to the city’s residents.

    In 2022, a document from the West Des Moines Water Works said it and the city government “will only consider future data center projects” from Microsoft if those projects can “demonstrate and implement technology to significantly reduce peak water usage from the current levels” to preserve the water supply for residential and other commercial needs.

    Reply
  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Vastuullinen ja kestävä ICT – mitä se todella tarkoittaa? Ymmärrämmekö pilvipalveluiden hiilineutraaliuden tai vihreän koodin todelliset merkitykset? Jokainen digitaalinen tekomme kuluttaa planeetan resursseja, mutta ICT voi tarjota myös mahdollisuuksia vähentää ympäristövaikutuksia. Jotta onnistumme, tarvitsemme oikeanlaista osaamista.

    Kommenteissa linkki tämän viikon TaitoTalkiin, jossa keskustellaan vastuullisuusosaamisen kehittämisestä eri toimialoilla.

    https://www.taitotalo.fi/artikkelit/vastuullinen-ja-kestava-ict-onko-sita

    Reply
  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Patrick Sisson / New York Times:
    The data center industry is struggling to meet its self-imposed sustainability goals as AI’s booming growth increases electricity demand and strains power grids

    A.I. Frenzy Complicates Efforts to Keep Power-Hungry Data Sites Green
    https://www.nytimes.com/2024/02/29/business/artificial-intelligence-data-centers-green-power.html?unlocked_article_code=1.ZE0.CGBa.BWpk1ABRI28R&smid=url-share

    Artificial intelligence’s booming growth is radically reshaping an already red-hot data center market, raising questions about whether these sites can be operated sustainably.

    Reply
  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Water worries flood in as chip industry and AI models grow thirstier
    Mega makers already operate in water-scarce areas, and worry is they’ll drink us dry
    https://www.theregister.com/2024/02/29/growing_water_use_ai_semis_concern/

    Reply
  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    “Big tech wants more computing power. A lot more. According to their latest quarterly reports, Alphabet (Google’s corporate parent), Amazon and Microsoft—the world’s cloud-computing giants—collectively invested $40bn between January and March, most of it in data centres equipped to deal with growing artificial-intelligence (ai) workloads. Last month Meta, which does not have a cloud business but does run a data-hungry social-media empire, said its capital expenditure could reach $40bn this year as a result of ai-related projects. That is not far off the $50bn that Saudi Aramco, an oil colossus, is planning to splurge. Microsoft is likely to spend more.

    The comparison with the famously capex-happy energy industry is apt not just because of the sums involved. ai needs vast amounts of processing power. And that processing power needs vast amounts of electricity. On May 2nd Bob Blue, chief executive of Dominion Energy, one of America’s biggest utilities, said that data-centre developers now regularly ask him for “several gigawatts” (gw). Dominion’s total installed capacity is 34gw.

    JPMorgan Chase, a bank, calculates that Microsoft, Amazon’s cloud arm (aws), Alphabet, Meta and Microsoft consumed 90 terawatt-hours (twh) of electricity in 2022, as much as Colombia. And that was mostly before Chatgpt set off the ai revolution in November that year. The ensuing hoopla led the the International Energy Agency (iea), an official forecaster, to predict that data centres (including those dedicated to ai and equally energy-hungry cryptocurrencies) will gobble up more than 800twh globally in 2026, more than double the amount in 2022 (see chart). bcg, a consultancy, reckons that data processing could triple its share of American power consumption by 2030, to 7.5%.

    Big tech’s great AI power grab
    Alphabet, Amazon and Microsoft are on the hunt for new energy sources
    https://www.economist.com/business/2024/05/05/big-techs-great-ai-power-grab?fbclid=IwZXh0bgNhZW0CMTEAAR3fwxUlOV1GstYDgI_akf5cFgf3zp0nfWSk383q67wUJDoIcn3JalTUV-k_aem_ATFH1W4iKoGl9ILc8192qYEEcqtrdtq67UmBBls0n0AetKkbOQ57_8QOE0IE2humTZMLAk7Y08LfRHyOtgtor28B

    Big tech wants more computing power. A lot more. According to their latest quarterly reports, Alphabet (Google’s corporate parent), Amazon and Microsoft—the world’s cloud-computing giants—collectively invested $40bn between January and March, most of it in data centres equipped to deal with growing artificial-intelligence (ai) workloads. Last month Meta, which does not have a cloud business but does run a data-hungry social-media empire, said its capital expenditure could reach $40bn this year as a result of ai-related projects. That is not far off the $50bn that Saudi Aramco, an oil colossus, is planning to splurge. Microsoft is likely to spend more.

    The comparison with the famously capex-happy energy industry is apt not just because of the sums involved. ai needs vast amounts of processing power.

    Reply
  33. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Tekoälyhakuihin hukkautuu paljon energiaa
    https://etn.fi/index.php/13-news/16301-tekoaelyhakuihin-hukkautuu-paljon-energiaa

    Tekoälyn käytön lisääntyessä datakeskukset tulevat vaatimaan yhä enemmän virtaa vastatakseen kasvaviin prosessointivaatimuksiin. Onsemi on esitellyt uusia tehopiirejä, joiden avulla näiden halujen aiheuttamia tehohäviöitä voidaan pienentää.

    Perinteiseen verkkohakuun verrattuna tekoälyä tukevan hakukoneen haku vaatii yli kymmenkertaisesti enemmän tehoa, minkä takia datakeskusten tehontarpeen odotetaan nousevan maailmanlaajuisesti arviolta 1000 terawattituntiin alle kahdessa vuodessa. Yhden tekoälyn tukeman pyynnön käsittelemiseksi energiaa muunnetaan neljä kertaa verkosta prosessoriin, mikä voi johtaa noin 12 prosentin energiahäviöön.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

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

*

*